Menoducational; what say?

Communication - it is one of the great talents given all sentient species. The ability to convey wants, needs and feelings. It is also one of the things which can let us down, whether by design (selective hearing, for example!), or ignorance (differences in language and context), or fear ("we don't talk the same language therefore you must be some kind of threat'")...

At worst, many simply will not make the effort to cross the communication divide. When travelling, for instance, there are great benefits to be gained by, at the very least, learning how to say the simple greetings and express gratitude; it shows willing and genuine interest in the culture being visited. However, a great many tourists do not make even this much effort and get 'shirty' when they cannot make themselves understood. Another aspect of this is poor listening skill. Assumptions tend to create barriers to reception.

At best, even insurmountable differences can be softened or flattened, perceptions changed and new bonds formed. By listening closely (remember that hearing is only the mechanical part of the process - listening is the intellectual analysis of what is heard...), as well as keenly observing, we can come to understand much, even across species and immensely different cultures. Other animal species can teach us much about our own communication - we have become so sophisticated that often we forget we also operate on the non-verbal level.  This itself can often lead to mis-communication, for the recipient has trouble reconciling the verbal and non-verbal signals.



Human beings are the only species which can mislead with its communication. All other species can only signal each other and us with simple truth. We are not discussing here the survival deceptions that can occur in nature for trapping prey, but simply "I want this, what do you want?"

In humans, there is the capacity for deception, falsehood, manipulation... there is nothing more infuriating than having one's words deliberately misunderstood because another wishes to dominate or confusticate, working to their own agenda; and there is little which is more demeaning to us than to be the one doing the deliberate misunderstanding. Mankind can (and often does) point to the cruelty within Nature, but none is better at cruelty than Mankind itself and (mis)use of language is one of the strongest 'tools'.

Similarly, in many societal situations, decorum and etiquette take precedence over clarity. Language has become so advanced, so intricate in our species that genuine, clear and honest communication, simple statement of facts, is perceived either as insult or innocence...

Oh, if we could all just have the straightforward 'bark'!!!





© Yamini Ali MacLean 

12 comments:

  1. Hari OM
    woo-woofity woofer-woof-woof-wooooooo!!! &*> Yxx

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  2. I luffs a good woof, lets the peeps know exactly what I want……communication at its best!
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xxx

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  3. I'm currently listening to Steinbeck's "Travels with Charley," while weaving. Quite the conversations they hold, in spite of Charley's slightly imperfectly set front teeth, disguised by his handsome mustache. "Pffft" means "we need to stop."

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    1. Hari OM
      Ooohh I am a big fan of JS... I need to revisit him... Yxx

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    2. I read 'Travels with Charley' for the first time last year. Definitely worth looking out.
      Cheers, Gail.

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  4. We are laughing at Frankie and Ernie. We are great communicators.

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  5. Mom has a lot to say about communication cuz that was her minor field in college. Me and Stanley communicate with each other and our pawrents all the time. Sometimes it breaks down though. Great post!
    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

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    Replies
    1. Hari OM
      Yup, even in the best of situations, wires can be crossed!!! Y xx

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  6. OK, we had something intelligent to say ...how we agree about how important it is when traveling to try and learn a few words especially thank you.

    Of course, once we read Frankie and Ernie's comment we started giggling and all our smart comments went out the window!

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    Replies
    1. Hari Om
      which means they communicated much within little - pawfect!!! Y xx

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  7. I used to teach non-verbal communication to students. It really helped them think about what they said and did. Thoughtful post.

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