Tuesday, August 30, 2016

On Communication

Years ago a mentor/teacher/friend of mine told me something about his view of different modes of communication. Back then (I was college age, possibly still in high school) letters were still a thing in this world. If I remember right he rated letters highest because they involved thought in the preparation and in the taking in, and they could be returned to repeatedly. He felt phone was the lowest because words were spoken in a vacuum in which there was no permanence, no strong connection between the isolated speakers. And face to face was somewhere in the middle.

I think conventional wisdom has it that nothing beats face to face communication.. Writing, in a sense, is very popular today, but it in almost no way resembles the letters of yore (30 years ago) that were written by regular people but if you look at them now seem sophisticated. The phone is not used much by people of today who prefer various forms of texting and messaging. Emails are almost as obsolete as letters and if they are used what's in them is more in the style of an I.M. (a phrase which I think is also gone with the wind) than a true letter.

I'd love to hear some thoughtful thoughts on communication.


Blogger nostalgia said...

Yes, I agree. Have you seen letters written by Civil War soldiers to their loved ones back home? They are eloquent and the handwriting is legible and calligraphic. And take a look at "The Diary of A Young Girl," which I am certain you have. Anne Frank wrote entries in the form of letters to "Kitty." Face-to-face communication is of greater value, as well. Facial expressions and hand gestures give the spoken words meaning that is just not there in e-mails and texts and could lead to misunderstandings regarding what the speaker actually meant. By the way, I'm the one who wrote to you three years ago about your walk to Young Israel. Remember the Clark Bar?

September 1, 2016 at 9:58 PM  
Blogger rabbi neil fleischmann said...

This comment means a lot to me. My father, he should live and be well, wrote letters during the Korean war back and forth with his best friends. Those letters are eloquent, of a certain time... Thanks for getting what i wrote and letting me know that you did.

I cherish your comment from a few years back. I have shared it with others. I loved the way you went back and emphasized, "It was always a Clark Bar." That story and the way you remembered it really resonated for me. Thanks again for that.

September 6, 2016 at 5:01 AM  

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