Communication skills are an absorbing topic for ongoing conversation. The fact is we don’t communicate very well in spite of having the most sophisticated technology and tools at our disposal. Our verbal skills have been replaced with technology and social media icons to acknowledge our fellows.
I am sure you are aware of the way your children ‘talk’ to their friends by texting them when sitting across from them in a room. It can probably be compared with being in a lift where people seem to be sworn not to speak as they enter. Accept from saying which floor they choose that’s about the only conversation I have ever experienced anywhere I have traveled.
Conversation has in many cases has been reduced to questions and answers. You ask a question then receive an answer and rarely any flow between you. Where will this go to and where will it end up?
I find it a most refreshing encounter when I am able to engage in a real conversation that flows on from the beginning question. I believe technology will take us full circle. People will want to come back to community and have more meaningful relationships, where they engage with each other at a deeper level.
Conversations will start to break the uncanny commuter silence and people will start to smile at each other again. There will also be a desire to have conversations again because they have experienced the loneliness isolation produces.
I remember a time when the town I lived in experienced a disaster. The town was situated at the base of a mountain and had a stable population of about 3500 people. After an extended wet season, one night we had a downfall of 12 inches of rain. This rainfall caused huge damage to the mountain and into the town as it washed houses away, took out the town’s water supply and also 4 people’s lives.
The army was sent in to help assist with security and coordinate repairs and movements while the locals got on with the cleanup. What amazed me was the tremendous comradery and cooperation the whole town adopted. People opened up their houses for those displaced and sincerely cared for each other. Communication between everyone was open and friendly with strangers talking to each other as if they had been friends for years!
I am sorry to say this but after a month or so the town was restored and people reverted back into themselves again as if nothing had happened! How sad. I almost went out and had some tee shirts made with the caption “Let’s have a Disaster every month – THEN we will share our Love and care for each other”!
The sad truth is disastrous events bring people together to care in practical ways. Not just practicality but emotional support as well. The trauma of the event not only smashes our properties it smashes down the walls between us. No matter what the need is we truly start to care for those in shock, even the animals.