Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The ART of Communication (II)

The other day while surfing the net I read: The state of the world is a reflection of our collective conversation. To change the world lets improve the quality of our conversation”. A very simple and brilliant expression that describes the cause of the several conflicts humanity is facing today.

Ineffective communication is directly related to the absence of tolerance and an open-minded approach, where there is a tendency to disregard anything that is not in agreement with specifics beliefs or values. People react to different opinions, cultures, customs, religions and ideas with antagonism in a desperate attempt to shut down anything dissimilar to what they believe to be right. The human need to establish what is right or wrong is where the key of the matter truly lies as it settles nations and people apart.

But, what determines what is right and wrong? Which principles should be used to establish that conclusion: yours or mine? If you are right then I’m wrong? If it’s not black then it’s white?

There is right and wrong? It has to be that way or can we meet half way?

True communication realizes when both parties meet half way, listening and respecting what both have to express. As a French philosopher once said: “I totally disagree with everything you said but I will defend with my life your right to say it!”

When we meet half way we don’t pinpoint or judge as we are embracing things for what they are instead of trying to change them to meet our line of thoughts. If societies, communities, religions, political parties, etc stop having monologues and start having “conversations” we will definitely see a different state of the world. But then again, as Gandhi said: “You must be the change that you wish to see in the world”, so there we are… if you want the world to change, begin by changing your communication approach: stop having monologues and be ready to meet half way!

© 2009 Gabriela Abalo – Author

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Anonymous said...


Your writings are great, very thought provoking.


Anonymous said...

Hi, Gabriela,

Your articles depict real life situations. All the articles indeed enrich oneself and
How best one can Endeavour to bring good/peace at individual, family, national and world

I wish you had a hardcopy that I could get for future use.

Keep up embracing such spirit of how best we can reconcile at all levels as stated


Kass said...

Gabi - I agree with you whole-heartedly about communication. I was listening to the radio once and the actor, Alan Alda was being interviewed about his long career and his equally long marriage. He said something that I will never forget, "When two people are talking, it's not real communication unless what the other person says changes you in some way." I have quoted this to a number of my friends and some of them rage back at me that we should never give up a stance on an issue if we are committed to it. That misses the point entirely. You don't have to change your basic values, but the other person's point of view should be heard with such depth that the consideration of it should alter your thinking, even if it is to have more compassion or critisism of what they have just said.

Gabriela Abalo said...

Dear Kass,
meeting half way is not given up on what we stand for, it is just given the other person the same thing we are asking for: the right to express ourselves and to be listen to - which not necessarily means to be approved.
I love your quote from Alan Alda, it is so true.


Hicham Maged said...


You mentioned precisely the problem of human in this world.

Common grounds is what people should focus one but unfortunately, they focus on everything but these common grounds.

Gabriela Abalo said...


as Buddha says
‘We become what we think’

This is a bumpy path we're on. We should not worry if we trip from time to time. We are changing, slowly but sure ;-)


Edward said...

Hi Gabi,
This is yet another very educative article. I feel very challenged but at the same time I have taken the message driven positively. If we can learn to tolerate each other and above all listen to those around us then our societies and the world at large would be a lovely place to live in.
Communication may be looked at lightly but I think it can change lives either for better or for worse depending on how it is exchanged. But as taught above, if people could meet half way then I bet this could give a solution to the many problems and challenges we are faced with on day to day basis.


Gabriela Abalo said...

You couldn't say it better! The day we start meeting half way on everything we do, we will be definitely be living in a lovely place.
So, what are we waiting for? Can we start right now? :-)



Anonymous said...

Love all your stories, well done on the publication! Keep going!! Have author and name of a book I'm sure you'll enjoy! Confirm with me when book is finished published ill be sure to buy a copy!


Susan Deborah said...

I enjoyed reading this post. Thanks for provoking a thought. Glad I came by your blog.

This is my second time here. Take care.

Joy always,

Gabriela Abalo said...

Welcome to the blog dear Susan.
I'm glad to know you enjoy reading the posts.

Please keep coming back and sharing your thoughts with us.