Autumn waits for us to come and visit, to be invigorated by crisp air, to embrace a silence that allows us to hear life's recreating, and touch, just this once, falling sparks from the sun. How will Autumn's gifts touch your life this year?
Reflect with wonder on the beauty and magnificence of the world, created and sustained without human initiative. Listen to it speak to your heart about the things you value and the way you interact with the people and places that fill your life.
Words have a magical power. They can bring either the greatest happiness or deepest despair; they can transfer knowledge from teacher to student; words enable the orator to sway his audience and dictate its decisions. Words are capable of arousing the strongest emotions and prompting all men's actions.
~ Sigmund Freud
Considering Joseph Priestly was born in 1733, I wonder what he would think of Facebook, YouTube,
Twitter, Instagram, and the rest of our social media platforms, commonly referred to as 'personal' communication.
If medium truly is the message, as philosopher of communications Marshall McLuhan professed some 50 years ago, then it is essential that an organization or an individual not only identify and embrace the message to be communicated, but evaluate the means by which the message is imparted.
If the message is one of faith and faith's inherent values, it will fall on deaf or hostile ears if we, as the medium, reflect something contrary to the message.
Image obtained from www.thehistoryblog.com
This bit of wisdom, originally written more than 30 years ago and meant for those who preach the Sunday homily, continues to be an important bit of wisdom throughout the field of communication. Generally, every communique, oral or written, is filtered through the needs, perspective and experience of the receiver.
Just read through the comment thread following a news article, or listen to the feedback following a campaign rally. You will invariably wonder if respondents read what you read, or heard what you heard.
Have you ever sent an email to several different people only to have one or more of them completely misunderstand what you were trying to say? One may suspect your intentions, another may take it as a personal affront, and another may ignore it completely, believing it has nothing to do with him or her.
To communicate effectively, it is essential to have an understanding of your audience, whether your audience is a parish congregation, a small faith community, the office staff or a classroom full of students, remembering that "the way we interpret the world ... determines the way we relate to it."
Quotes are from "Fulfilled in Your Hearing: The Homily in the Sunday Assembly," USCCB, 1982