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Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Dying Art of Communication

At this present writing, the planet Earth is now over 7.2 BILLION people. That's a hefty amount of folks. 

In the 1950s and early 60s, (and truth be known, long before that), evenings in a household were spent communing with each other. It was long before the advent of cell phones, and for some, television wasn't even an option. There was conversation, or silent interaction as women performed craft work, men worked on hobbies, and children did homework and/or played on the floor. For those who enjoyed stories, people took turns reading, and imagining it within their thoughts. 

I recall even in the early 1960s, there was no such thing as making a date to visit. No one thought of calling to see if a family was available. One changed to their better clothes, piled in the car, and showed up at someone's door. Immediately, the television was turned off, the children escaped into the bedrooms to share toys and games, and the hostess of the house put on the coffee pot. Adults then headed for the living room, sat in their favorite chairs, and conversation pursued

It was just the way of the world, but people communicated. Oh yes, there was always that challenging debate centered on politics and/or religion, until the women calmed their husbands down, but we rarely heard them over the giggling, laughter, and high pitched child's talk. 

By the 1970s, we discovered that we no longer were allowed to show up at others' homes -  practice that was performed for centuries. What a disservice we created!

Yesterday, I asked for a conversation, not a gripe session, and positive aspects preferred. None was available. Today, I turned towards a different group, this time online and with a positive topic to discuss. As of this writing, I have a lot of folks reading my words, but not one response. I have left the request behind and am now observing it in a sort of sociological experiment. 7.2 billion people on the face of the Earth, yet we can not even look at a stranger and say, "hello". Interesting. 

And we sit back and wonder why the world is what it is. Why are we not heard? Why are we so alone? Why are we not engaging in negotiations? Why can't groups or individuals work it out? What was that idiot thinking? Did you ask? Does it matter?

I recall when Simon & Garfunkel sang, "I am a rock. I am an island...." and we thought it odd. After all, no man was an island - or so they said. But we are creating a mass population of islands upon this planet. And in our new mode of non-communication, we are allowing people to go by the wayside, allowing the illusion of "you are not wanted" to widely multiply. And we wonder why individuals walk away in various methods.

The catch-all excuse of "well, we're just so busy" is not an excuse. Work a farm. Better yet, work a milking dairy, along with a farm. Yet, those farmers of old still found time to commune because the majority of the ventures we think are now important, held no importance years ago.

Communication. Simple, simple conversation. It leaves us in abundance on a daily basis and we are reaping the effects - if we allow it. (patton, 2015)

Photo: "Saturday Snaps", Chronically Vintage, April 2010, www.chronically vintage.com

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