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Quid Sentio Quod Dico

"Speak in a way that others would love to listen and listen in a way that others would love to speak" It took man two thousand years to develop what we today call "communication". But we have advanced so rapidly that we have lost the essence of true communication. We frequently forget that opinions and judgments do not travel in a straight line. Communication is when two or more individuals express their ideas and emotions freely and fearlessly, while at the same time listening to others’ views. The objective of this article is to re-establish what communication really is and make the reader aware of how expressing one’s feelings, emotions, and ideas candidly without complaint or accusations could make communication so much better. It is undeniable that facts are the basis of understanding, but just facts without a considered outlook disable a learner from ‘true’ understanding. Without understanding, learning is partial and restricted to the memory of disparate nuggets of information. The learner will now, most likely, follow somebody else’s perspective blindly without having their own. This will also prevent him from sharing his opinions and connecting with people who have similar ideas. Understanding The Merchant of Venice would become a lot harder if our teachers wouldn’t share what they felt about a certain character or a particular plot, wouldn’t it? For a complete understanding of something, it is crucial to analyse it in every possible way. The numerous times our masters tell us to share with the class what we think about a character in a story proves just that. Having one’s valid outlook based on one’s past experiences and respecting the other person’s outlook, which is based on his past, is the basis of true communication. Do you know that the founding aim of the International Baccalaureate—started by Ms Marie-Therese Maurette in the wake of the Second World War—was to experiment if peace could be established by following a particular curriculum and pedagogy that focused on the sharing of various perspectives through reflective inquiry and open communication, thereby making students open to other people’s ideas?

People usually communicate with each other better if they themselves have gone through similar experiences at various points in their lives. For example, all teenagers empathise with one another's teenage plights. Perceptions and emotions are essential to understanding ideas and people. It is difficult for an individual to get along with another without making an emotional connection. By repressing our emotions, we do not allow ourselves to secure this deeper connection with other people and hence miss out on a very beautiful aspect of social relationships. Allowing the other person into your field of thoughts and feelings through honest communication allows them to understand your perceptions and makes it easier for them to accept it. By first expressing our true feelings and then making decisions based on those feelings, we practise what is called non-violent communication. Nonviolent communication, also known as compassionate communication, is a technique for the effective exchange of emotions between two individuals. This was developed by Marshall Rosenberg, an American psychologist, in the 1960s. He believed that by expressing how an encounter made us feel rather than accusing the individuals involved in it, we reduced any misunderstandings and resolved issues quickly. Wouldn’t it be easier if we just owned up to a lie spoken to a 'prefect' out of fear of punishment—rather than lied again, backing up our lies with more falsehood—and the 'prefect' patted our back in appreciation with complete understanding? In my opinion, it takes longer to resolve a problem these days because nobody actually sits face-to-face and discusses these problems openly. People prefer to hide their emotions behind a computer screen, put their egos at the forefront, and project a self-righteous image of themselves. It may also be possible that our means of communication have given us a very convenient way to hide our emotions. With the rise of social media, we are forced to project a certain image of ourselves all the time. It causes our communication to be reduced to something that is extremely superficial. How often do you see someone say, "You look fat in that picture."? Social media, undoubtedly, is an extremely useful mode of keeping in touch with others. There is, however, a huge difference between communicating in person and keeping in touch through the virtual world. By talking face-to-face with people, we communicate in terms of our true emotions and minimise the number of misunderstandings with them. In short, two monologues do not make a dialogue. Communication is not just an exchange of facts and information, but the sharing of deeper emotions, feelings, and ideas in a milieu that is open, receptive, and non-judgmental. Finally, the intent behind every discussion or communication is to arrive at an understanding of the matter at hand in a higher light and an all-encompassing truth that allows a "forward movement" of the discussing parties. In a way, they should both evolve their understanding toward a higher truth beyond the apparent duality that separated them. This evolution, I believe, is the definition of "harmony" and "goodwill," the cornerstone of all communication.


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