Friday, December 14, 2007

Communicating to Survive

Since it is likely that I will be unable to maintain this blog until the first of February, I need to review what Communicating to Survive is about. It is enormously simple from one point of view and enormously complicated from another point of view.

First, the simple view: we all have certain goals and through communications we can achieve those goals. The goals are:

1) to live with the person of our choice.
2) to live in the community of our choice,
3) to work at the job of our choice,
4) to work at the level of our choice and
5) to work at the pay of our choice.

As with all goals, depending on a wide range of variables, we may achieve them with ease or with great difficulty. This discussion is the beginning of a trip through some ideas that should make achieving these goals more likely.

From the complicated point of view, this process will require our attention for the remainder of our lives. To not pay attention to the details of effective communication will slow or even stop the process toward our goals.

Here are some basic assumptions that will be discussed.

1) Every person is unique if for no other reason than the genes that make us come together in a unique fashion constructing a unique body. For example, two people in the same family can take a medication and have different results. You might reason that since they are from the same family their reaction should have been the same. But experience indicates that members of the same family have different bodies and minds depending on what the genes from mom and dad accomplish within our body. One more example, you study hard and your brother or sister spends half the time and has a higher GPA.

2) Our experiences in life are different. One of the main reasons for that is we are wrapped in our skin and view the world from that point of view. Even when we travel together we are seeing the world from a slightly different point of view. That doesn’t even consider that fact that your eyes and ears work better than mine since your genes built them differently from mine. But, I make take pride that I’m stronger than you are.

3) We are limited on channels of communication. We might be able to use reflected light, sound waves and touch, but again our bodies are different and we can’t be certain that what we have experienced and now named will be understood the same way by the other person. I wear glasses and you don’t need to. I can eat anything and intend to and not put on weight. You pass by a donut shop and gain 5 pounds. Your view and mine about food is bound to be different. I love blue cheese and you can’t stand it. Again our genes have an impact and now another consideration—culture. What I have gotten out of my cultural exposure is different.

4) One of the best tools for communication is the creation of common ground. Doing things and thinking things together gives us additional insights into one another. That is not the same as saying that we agree on everything. The more time (a communication device) we spend together the easier it is for us to predict the others behavior. The middle American culture makes every effort to limit the amount of time we spend together doing the same interactive things. Work, entertainment, other folk and computers to name a few, tend to keep us from spending time with one another.

Did I mention that the second view point is much more complicated? It is what Communicating to Survive will be discussing.

No comments: