The Art Of Conversation
“Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person” (Colossians 4:6).
The ability to communicate is essential to our wellbeing. The use of the spoken word is important, but when sharing thoughts it is not always necessary. The tone in our words is as important as the words expressed because emotion helps convey our message.
I recently witnessed a precious moment between our newborn granddaughter, Molly, and her 3-year-old sister, Kendall. The baby was just a few hours old when she was introduced to her big sister in the hospital. Molly had not yet opened her eyes, but the minute she heard this soft and loving voice welcoming her into the family, she looked around to see where that familiar voice was coming from. This exchange of love confirms that the life of a baby in the womb is responsive to, and thrives on their surroundings. This is a beautiful example of how important human contact is to each and every life, young and old!
The most common forms of communication today are methods of text messaging or emails sent from our phones. The tone and intent of the typed words may unintentionally misrepresent our thoughts. Not to mention that once the message is sent it is recorded forever in cyberspace. A trendy social media phenomenon creates a means of sharing feelings with a slightly anonymous and ambiguous approach. Friendships and family relationships may be compromised when sharing words behind a false sense of fearlessness. This is the reality we live in today because there are so many cultural and faith-based differences being shared openly. Our instant means of connecting may be misused if there is a lack of forethought with respect for others.
I read a book titled: “The Last Sunrise”, authored by Holocaust survivor, Harold Gordon. This true story of a ten-year-old who spent over four years in several concentration camps is an example of the power one person can have with their actions and words. One question was repeated several times in the author's story, “Where is the free world, and why are they not stopping these atrocities?” Control of media propaganda concealed the truth of these evil plans being orchestrated against an entire group of human beings.
The prisoners in the camps communicated without vocal conversation to avoid further punishment. Eye contact and slight gestures became a means of exchanging thoughts. The value of human interaction, person to person, cannot be underestimated! Our electronic devices offer convenience and immediate connection, but do we think about what is lost in the art of conversation, especially for our children, who are being raised in an electronic-savvy society?
Our voices must protect the dignity of God’s plan for human life in all phases. Silence in times of chaos and disagreement is not the answer. Holy Scripture accounts and historical events certainly verify the need to be proactive. The teachings of the Catholic Church should never be compromised or apologized for.
The attendance of over 400,000 people spoke volumes at the 46th pro-life event, “March for Life”, in Washington, D.C. on January 18th. The World Health Organization estimates 50 million abortions are performed worldwide every year. An ideology that also disregarded human dignity permitted 11 million Jews to be murdered during the Holocaust between 1941-1945. We are challenged to speak up in a culture of death, but let your speech be filled with grace, so that you will know how to respond! Amen!