Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Communication gap

This is not a strange term now a day. Everybody is talking about communication gap. We are worried about the communication gap between the older generation and the young generation.
In fact communication gap exists in all fields including teaching, training and business. Where there is communication, there is communication gap.

What is really a communication gap? It is gap between the speaker and the listener. The speaker with his utmost reason is trying to communicate an important message to the listener. But the listener, in spite of diligent care fails to understand the message as the speaker intended.

Let me draw your attention to a historical incident. I am taking an incident from the Bible. Since we are discussing the subject “communication gap”, I keep aside the theological significance of the death of Jesus.

The birth of Jesus was announced by an angel to Mary and Joseph. But the Jews failed to understand the real significance of Jesus’ birth and ministry. So they crucified him.
Jews believed in angels. There is proof of their faith in angels and the message delivered through them in the Acts of Apostles. If someone reported that an angel appeared and told me such and such … the Jews rarely questioned it. I am not sure whether Mary and Joseph told the Jews, especially the priests, Pharisees and the scribes that an angel appeared to them and delivered the message. More over it was not easy for the Jews to believe that a virgin will give birth to a baby. But Joseph believed it. Because an angel appeared to him and confirmed that the pregnancy was a miracle of God. God could send the same angel on a Saturday to the synagogue where Jews were assembled for worship. The angel could appear before the priests, Pharisees, scribes and the people assembled there and announce the birth of their long awaited Messiah. If things happened so they would have accepted Jesus and would not have crucified Him. All confusion about the birth and personality of Jesus could be solved by this single act.

But God did not do this. Why?

If you as God, why he did not sent the angel to a Jewish synagogue with the announcement of the birth of Jesus, He may give a different explanation.
For God, He has been announcing the birth, life, death and resurrection of Christ through His prophets for many centuries. Jews could not grasp the full meaning of the prophecies or could not recollect all those prophecies concerning Jesus. It is God’s fault.
Before the birth of Jesus, God send his angel to two human beings and announced the birth of Jesus.
The priest Zachariah’s son John the Baptist bore witness to Jesus as the Messiah.
Some others also recognized Jesus as the promised savior.
Is it all sufficient to believe in Jesus?
Still the fact remains that an appearance of the angel announcing Jesus’ birth on a Sabbath day at a synagogue could solve all confusions.

For God, he did everything He could do for the acceptance of Jesus as the savior.
For the Jews God did not convey the message properly to them.

Every speaker has his own way of conveying a message. Every listener has a different expectation. This creates the communication gap. Gestures are used by the speaker to bridge the gap. Expressions are tools to communicate what words fails to do. Still the ‘gap’ remains.

No one can suggest a clever idea to fill this gap. Literary figures used some techniques to convey emotions effectively to the reader. T.S. Eliot’s ‘objective co relative’ is an attempt on this side. A red rose can convey the warmth and care of a lover. But it too has limitations.
At times the communicated idea may be stretched far to the opposite sense. The intended and the communicated may differ.
A costly coffin for the departed father may express the love of the son. But the same coffin may be read by some others as a luxurious display of wealth by the son.

So there is no effective solution to the communication gap. As long as language has a limitation to express ideas of a human, communication gap will remain.

There is communication gap between God and man. There is communication gap between man and man. There is such a gap between man and nature.

So no ideas can be communicated effectively to another. No emotions can be communicated to another.
The wisdom of heaven and the vitality of men will never meet.
The wisdom of age and the vigor of youth will remain apart.

Professor Jacob Abraham

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