Learning Many Ways to Communicate

Communication is critical in success in life. The wise will do it well. Language, music, and a host of other techniques. For fun, how many of you can read Morse Code? Read on!

(- …. . .. — .–. — .-. – .- -. -.-. . — ..-. .-.. . .- .-. -. .. -. –. — .- -. -.– .– .- -.– … – — -.-. — — — ..- -. .. -.-. .- – .)

(- …. .  .. — .–. — .-. – .- -. -.-. .  — ..-.  .-.. . .- .-. -. .. -. –.  — .- -. -.–  .– .- -.– …  – —  -.-. — — — ..- -. .. -.-. .- – .)

In the popular movie Star Wars, the protocol droid C3PO boasts that he is programmed to use over six million forms of communication. His skills come in handy for Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, and the other characters trying to save the galaxy from the evil Empire. From Ewoks to Jabba the Hut, C3PO plays a major role in the final outcome.

In real life we often assume that communication is easy and we consider ourselves masters at it. In truth, however, communication is fraught with opportunities for misunderstanding. We often assume that our language, written and spoken, is the best and the others should learn it. In fact, each language is stronger for some tasks and weaker for others, just like people. Further most others will not learn our language, whatever its virtues. If we wish to speak with these people, we need to learn how to communicate with them. This article will discuss ways of communicating with others, and the importance of doing so.

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Preunderstandings and Presuppositions

Our fundamental biology, assumptions and experiences, passed down through our families and environments, shape us more than we know. By identifying these influences, we can shape them.

In the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical the Sound of Music, 17 year old Rolf sings to his beloved 16 year old Liesl about her innocence as she makes the transition into adulthood. Rolf’s song, Sixteen Going on Seventeen, includes the line “your life, little girl, is an empty page, that men will want to write on.”

Though a charming sentiment, it is not really true. None of our lives are an empty page, ready to learn and experience anything that comes our way with complete accuracy and objectivity. We are each preconditioned by a host of factors to see and respond to life in a particular way:

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Hermeneutics – The Art and Science of Bible Interpretation

How do we interpret the Bible? Literally? Allegorically? It depends on how the Author wants each section interpreted.

Hermeneutics, defined as the science of interpretation, is important in every field of endeavor (1). People working in law, philosophy and religion use hermeneutical techniques to interpret communication, whether written, oral or otherwise, but so do friends arranging a party, and even lovers proclaiming their everlasting devotion. Biblical hermeneutics applies the art and science of hermeneutics to gathering meaning in the Bible.

When a book is written and subsequently read, information and emotion are transferred from author to reader, and both have an important role in the process. Things become more complex when the reader is not the reader that the author was writing for, as is the case with the Bible. The role of the author is to assemble his ideas in a coherent fashion and then decide how best to communicate those ideas to his intended audience. He may use different languages, different genres (narrative, poetry, law, prophecy, wisdom, letters, and apocalyptic), different words, and different stories to illustrate his points (2). The author then puts pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) to write his work.

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