||Posted: Feb. 01 2015,12:20
Promoting Communication Literacy through Principles of Compassion for a Nonviolent Planet
by Vedabhyas Kundu
At a time when there are conflicts at different level around the world, promoting COMMUNICATION LITERACY through principles of compassion is a necessity so as to bring people together and collectively work for global peace.
Compassion and feelings for others are essential ingredients for human unity. Swami Vivekananda had said, “Do you feel for others? If you do, you are growing in oneness. If you do not feel for others, you may be the most intellectual giant ever born, but you will be nothing; you are but dry intellect, and you will remain so.”
Indeed in today’s contemporary society when there are so much of differences and intolerance, if we can’t promote feeling and compassion for others, we cannot promote oneness amongst one another. There seems to be crisis of values and little respect for each other’s ideas and perspective. For a large number of people, the self seems to be the supreme and are agnostic about the feelings of others. Anger and hatred towards each other seems to be found in abundance. All these will lead to greater conflicts and ill feelings amongst fellow beings. Swami Vivekananda pertinently underlines that howsoever one may acquire intellectual power, without compassion for others, one is nothing.
The essence of compassion has been stressed by the Dalai Lama who says, “Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.” Mother Teresa had also said, “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” Without compassion we cannot think of actions by humans which are benevolent in nature; without compassion the spirit of volunteerism for greater good of our society would be missing.
My case in point is how we can promote communication in our society which is based on the principles of compassion. One way is by learning to listening to others. Listening with patience and not trying to outdo others would make our communication nonviolent and evolve a spirit of compassion and love. The other would be to be guided by the philosophy of mutual respect. When we have respect for each other, our channels of communications cannot be violent.
Miscommunication and breakdown in communications can be mended by ephemeral qualities and principles of compassion. We have to believe that in situations of conflicts, no one is the perpetrator; developing communicative skills that would help resolve conflicts by ensuring no one was the winner and no one was the loser is the key challenge.
So our challenge in today’s world is how we can promote COMMUNICATION LITERACY amongst the citizenry especially the youth which can help develop their communicative skills for resolving conflicts through nonviolence, love and benevolence. We have to see as in the words of senior Gandhian, Shri Natwar Thakkar, use our communicative skills for emotional bridge building and see how our anger and hatred subsides through our use of expressions and words.
At the end, it would be pertinent to quote Irina Bokova who said “It is up to every one of us to bind the community of humanity together, to build a common space that excludes no one, regardless of continent, origin, age or gender.” This is the only way for a nonviolent planet and is only possible if we communicate with other through compassion, love and mutual respect.