I Believe in the Power of Communication

Cristina - Brentwood, Tennessee
Entered on October 26, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in the power of communication. It is what holds our society together. Without it, everything would collapse. Communication helps people daily whether it be solving problems or just passing on information. Even the slightest exchange of words can make such a big statement and have so many different meanings.

While I was a junior counselor for adolescents who had autism, I was told to go sit with one of the campers who was sitting by herself. Her head was down, her hair covering her face which was dug into one of her anime books. My initial reaction to her was, ‘Oh my gosh, there’s no way I’m going to get a word out of her’. Naturally, she rejected any type of verbal interaction with me or anyone else, but I was determined to get her to converse with me. After a couple of awkward attempts to get a conversation started, we finally started talking about a subject about which she was really interested. I was getting to know more about her and she was learning how to have a normal discussion with a peer. Without even realizing it, she was learning the skills and techniques needed to talk to someone. The rewards were priceless.

Communication is ‘a process by which we assign and convey meaning in an attempt to create shared understanding’, according to the dictionary. It even comes in different forms. Sign language, body language/gestures, eye contact, touching, and writing are all examples of how our society communicates. It’s amazing to think that over hundreds of years, the world has adapted itself, so that no matter the condition, everyone can somehow communicate.

The result of communication can be both good and bad. When I am talked down to or ordered around, it’s a one-sided conversation. My teachers tell me that I need to be a better student and pay attention. My mother tells me I need to be more responsible. This doesn’t feel like a conversation. However, without them telling me what to do, I wouldn’t be able to grow to become a better person. Examples of positive communication can come from our leaders. One of the most powerful speakers of the last century was Franklin D. Roosevelt. He used his status in the world to inspire people to do great things and helped keep peace and order in the country while there was chaos all around us.

The reality is that the whole world relies on communication. Whether we like it or not, we follow what is said, and that’s what makes everything run the way it’s supposed to. But the only way that’s possible is if we listen.