I have always been fascinated and vaguely astonished by the fact that, at times, communication is successful.
We do not put enough emphasis and preparation into it, and we have so many different ways to look at the world and interpret it, that it is quite a thing that two persons can come together at some point and understand each other.
What is your mental image of a tree? Of a car? Of a house? Of course, with such physical objects we often get past the ambiguity. But what with more complex concepts?
What do you think when you hear about honesty? And productivity? And work-life balance? What is your intent when you use words such as “democrat” and “republican”, “conservative” and “progressive” and “liberal”, “capitalist” and “communist”?
I promise you, it is different from how the person sitting next to you thinks about them.
And so, why are we not training for better communication? Why is this not a matter taught in school? Why are we left growing up under the false impression that everyone around us understands what we mean? And shares our same set of assumptions and priorities?
Communication is unorganized chaos for the most part, and when it succeed it truly is a work of magic.