Out of the tools we have as humans, the two most important are math, and communication. Math is definitely important in the physical world. Without it we wouldn’t have buildings, science, technology, or even industry. Even with everything math does for our lives, I still feel communication is infinitely more important. Whether at work, at home, or somewhere in between, communication makes it possible for people to work together and play together. Without proper communication, any interpersonal relationship we have would be doomed.
There are many forms of communication humans use to convey ideas; there’s written communication, verbal, body language, any of the visual arts, music, and the list continues on. The point is, when we learn the arts we are actually learning communication. Is it any wonder when a school system threatens to reduce the arts programs that I get upset? The arts are, at its core, communication in all its forms. I just want to go over the more obvious forms of communication; written, verbal, and body language, because they are more universal to all people than visual and musical arts.
“When you read a book, as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading does.” This quote from the movie “You’ve got Mail” Is one of the best quotes on reading I’ve ever seen. The written word has a lot of power; even more than verbal communication. I say this because it has more permanence. We certainly can’t go back to ancient Greece, and hear the words of philosophers like Plato, but we can read what he said. If you would like a more recent example, we can bring it up to 19th century England. Charles Dickens wrote the story of “Oliver Twist”, which changed the way orphans are treated in society.
As writers, we have a responsibility to communicate thoughts and ideas that will help others, and bring them a greater understanding of the world around them. Regardless of what we write; humor, drama, mainstream, or genre, how we write what we want to convey, is imperative in making our thoughts heard.
It’s only recently that verbal communication has made a lasting impression; with the invention of radio, and television, we have been able to hear what someone says long after their death. The written word is designed with permanence in mind, but verbal communication is meant for that moment, and it is a lot more personal.
The biggest advantage to verbal communication is that not everyone can comprehend everything they read. A perfect example is people with dyslexia. As far as conveying thoughts, they are both important, and need to be used correctly, or people will get the wrong impression.
We’ve all heard that actions speak louder than words, and with body language, that is very evident; from the way you stand, to the way you look at someone when they make you mad, to those lovely finger gestures on the highway when someone cuts you off. Your body can convey emotions better than your words, at times. There is no permanence to them, and it’s only conveyed in the moment, but it can tell others a lot about you and your personality.
Proper communication skills are essential in starting, and maintaining solid relationships. Not being clear in your communication can lead to misunderstanding, heated tempers, and the destruction of any relationship. So be careful how you communicate, and save your relationships.