12.19.18 - "A Crazy Maze That'll Keep You Guessing"

Dear Sweet Babe,

Today I want to talk to you about communication.

Tomorrow I’d like you to listen to sound waves, and then touch friction, and finally smell molecules.
…oh, how I hope you’ll forgive me for my overly-dorky, cerebral, and not too funny jokes.

Communication, for me, is the most important aspect to our connection as human beings. Communication not only shapes how we understand each other, but also how our minds perceive the world and how we are shaped by others. Communication is a beautiful forest full of deathly flora and fauna to battle, ensnared pathways to navigate, and the most glorious vistas and mountaintops to explore. It is a crazy maze that will keep you guessing, but will reveal its secrets to any and all that hold logic in their hands.

But, how does communication truly affect us?

Well, let me first explain the basic components of communication. Communication is a simple exchange of information. Whether it be over the phone, through a newspaper, face to face interaction, or even an online blog (*wink, wink*), whenever two creatures share information, that is a form of communication. All it takes is a combination of two components: listening and sharing.

“Sounds super easy and simple, Guncle Erik!,” you may be saying.
Well, first, please don’t interrupt, and, second, the simplicity of communication is deceptive.

Most people find the sharing component of communication to be extremely easy. Hell, there have been whole new forms of communication created for the sole purpose of sharing. We call it social media. On social media platforms people are encouraged to share anything and everything. In one look on facebook you can find people sharing about their pet, their job, their political leanings, their family, their food, and even their appreciation for other media. People love to share…but sharing only works if the second component of communication is present.

Listening; it’s not so easy. You will find a great many people who will gladly talk your ear off over any and every subject, but they will seemingly shut down when you want to share in turn, and that, sweet babe, is because we live in a self-centered society. Everywhere we look we are being encouraged to think about ourselves and how we think about, and feel about, and perceive the world around us. Advertising confronts us with questions imbedded in the media that continuously focuses our minds on our own wants and desires. Social media algorithms connect us with only those who offer perceptions of the world that resemble our own. Even technological design, with every advancement personalizing our view of the world, encourages us to think more and more about the design and look of ourselves and our world view. It’s easy to forget that communication needs a listener in order to be effective.

So, I would encourage you, sweet babe, to take a moment, and to listen to some form of communication today. Participate in the dialogue that is surrounding you. Ask a friend about their day and listen to their response. Pick a random Youtube blogger and listen to their video without distraction. Listen to a singer’s album, or listen to a painter’s painting, or listen to a poet’s poem. Take the time to focus your attention on one person other than yourself, and participate in a communication with them.

You may even find yourself leaving the dialogue with a greater understanding of yourself.


Erik SchneiderComment