The Lost Art of Communication

COMM

“Clear Communication: May our minds work together to find mutual understanding. May I see you true and be seen in kind. May our words reveal more than they obscure. Most of all: May our minds, eyes, and tongues be guided by our hearts, and the language far older than words.”

It goes without saying (no pun intended), humans are beginning to lose the ultimate purpose behind communication. Why did we develop language? To express our feelings or to mask them? To hurt or to praise others? To profess our love and dreams or to spread hate and lies? I think the answers are all obvious. That’s why I’ve included the quote above: a short mantra to remember the reason we even started communicating in the first place. So, let’s spend some time looking at what it means to find mutual understanding, to see others as true and be seen, to have your words reveal and not obscure, and finally, how to let our heart guide our minds, eyes, and tongues so that we can find a path back to clear communication and rediscover the Lost Art it once was.

The Lost Art

First off, let’s define what we are talking about when it comes to communication. Webster says it is “the act or process of using words, sounds, signs, or behaviors to express or exchange information or to express your ideas, thoughts, feelings, etc., to someone else.” Why would we call this act an art then? Well does not art use words, sounds, signs, and sometimes behaviors in its expression? The answer is of course yes. Therefore, we can agree that communication is an art form.

So why am I saying that the art has been lost?

Well, I would have to blame the Internet age and all online communication. Now you’re probably saying, that is why the Internet was developed; to improve and speed up communication between distant parties. I won’t argue that point. Rather, the Internet has limited much of our communication to what we wish to express with our minds. Speaking to others has become one-sided, and simultaneously has lost its most important feature: non-verbal expression. With services like Facebook, Gmail, and Twitter, humans are limited to using words, sounds (Music), and signs (Memes) in their communication with each other. Yes, we can share videos, but how often are they actually recorded by us? And are they not preplanned behaviors by the mind, thus masking what the heart wishes to truly express? So behavior is ultimately lost with online communication.

What I mean by this is that expression between two humans in proximity with each other is guided by a different part of the body: the heart. Your mind is working, but mostly to form your words, change your facial expression or posture, and to adjust your tone to what you are saying. Unless you are an improv actor, great liar, or a very quick thinker; your heart, meaning your true intention, will always show through in your expression towards another. And why shouldn’t it? That is the purpose, is it not? So now we can see the difference between online communication and personal communication, with the one exception being of course video chat, which allows us to experience others and see their behavior real-time.

Now what? We have established what exactly communication is, that it represents an art form, and that online communication (excluding video chat) has begun to diminish this art form by removing personal behavior from our expression of it. How do we get back to the days where communication can be art, and we can clearly communicate with one another once again? Let’s first look at how we reach mutual understanding through communication.

Finding Mutual Understanding

“May our minds work together to find mutual understanding.”

This is the first step to clear communication. We must train our minds to look for intention in another’s expression, as well as expressing our intent clearly. When two minds have recognized the other’s intention and aligned their intent with it, the two humans communicating will ‘be on the same page’ when they are speaking to one another. If your mind senses that the other’s intention is not aligned, or you are making a direct effort not to align intent, then both people could be speaking about different thoughts, feelings, or ideas without even knowing it. We must start looking for the mutual understanding of the minds if we are to move closer to clear communication. The next step of course is to see the other as true and be seen this way too.

Seeing True

“May I see you true and be seen in kind.”

What does this mean, to see someone as true and be seen in kind? Well, it means that you trust what the other person is saying. Plain and simple. If you do not have trust in the fact that the other person is being honest with you, then you probably shouldn’t be communicating with them in the first place. If you sense that they are not being truthful with you, then you need to express this doubt before continuing in any sort of communication. Once you’ve established a trust for the other person, then you can begin to feel if you are being trusted as well. Just as important as trusting the other person, if you do not feel trusted, you must let the other person know before continuing further. If either person is lacking trust or not feeling trusted, then the conversation will fail and one or both parties will be hurt or the true intention (established earlier) will be lost completely. It is imperative to have trust with others you speak with always. Otherwise, why are you two talking??

Letting Your Words Reveal, Not Obscure

“May our words reveal more than they obscure.”

Now that trust exists between both parties, the requirement is that you remain open and honest in all of your communication. Being open is crucial, simply because if you aren’t bringing everything that is relevant forward in the conversation, you may be holding back something is extremely pertinent to what is being discussed. So, let it all out, without fear of what the other may say or do; you must remember that you both have aligned your intention and now trust each other in this conversation. You must also be 100% completely honest with the other person. I don’t like the term ‘brutally honest,’ because this implies you have no care for the other’s feelings. Rather, honesty should include some tact as to how it is expressed. Honesty is the best policy, however, because of the mutual understanding and trust that exists between both parties. Now we are ready for the final step; to be guided by our hearts.

Letting Your Heart Guide

“Most of all: May our minds, eyes, and tongues be guided by our hearts, and the language far older than words.”

What is your heart? How do you allow it to guide you in communication with others? Well in this case, your heart is your true intention, or what you desire most from the conversation with another. This is the basis of the relationship between the two people; the heart is what connects us. Our minds represent our egos, while our eyes are meant to interpret non-verbal communication, and the tongue is used for personal expression. If one of these is guiding the conversation, rather than the heart, then the true intention of one or both parties may be obscured, and all meaning behind the communication ultimately lost.

The Language Far Older Than Words

What does this mean? Well, if it isn’t obvious, we are talking about LOVE. Love cannot be defined, but in its simplest form, it is what connects us all. The only reason to engage in conversation with another should be to express ideas, thoughts, and feelings that represent love. Some have complicated the meaning of the word love, but we are really just referring to a mutual respect, trust, and appreciation of another person. If this is lacking, what really is the purpose behind any communication? If you do not respect another, then you will treat them poorly and most likely will be treated poorly in return. If you do not trust another, then you will probably not feel trusted, and will not be inclined to be truthful with them. If you do not appreciate another, you in turn will not be appreciated, and therefore both parties will most likely resent one another. So, who would want to talk to someone who treats them poorly, lies to them, and resents them? Don’t humans, as social beings, want to be surrounded by those who treat them well, tell them the truth, and appreciate them? If you think so, then you agree we all just want to share love with one another. When our purpose is to only share love, then we are letting our hearts guide, and we are speaking the Language Far Older than Words; we have rediscovered the Lost Art of Communication at last!

Applying Clear Communication in Our Daily Lives

I spoke earlier of the Internet and online communication diminishing the clarity in our conversation, and ultimately hiding love, or our true intention from others. Our behavior is masked behind our online persona in today’s world, so how do we bring forth the love that exists in our heart? How do we begin to clearly communicate both online and in person? Well, this is difficult to answer. The best advice I can give here is to start sharing ideas, thoughts, and feelings that come directly from your heart. Stop letting your mind rule you. There is fear (the opposite of love) everywhere in the world, and we are exposed to it daily. Many people allow themselves to be wrapped up into this message of fear, instead of spreading the love they feel inside. You have to be a beacon to others that wish to share love as well. You will begin to find mutual understanding with these people, which will lead to a mutual trust, which brings forth honesty and truth, and it will all be motivated by a mutual love for one another. When this happens, we will spread a message of love and understanding across the Internet and hence across the globe. We will have clear communication with each other, and we will all be able to express our ideas, thoughts, and feelings as an art form once more. When each person does this with everyone they meet or interact with online and in person, the world will know peace. So go forth! Be clear, be true, be honest, and show your love to everyone you meet! Let’s bring about peace just by talking to each other with love. Thank you for reading. Peace and love to you all.

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