Mis(s)Communication | Spotlight on Alain de Botton
I admire people who are good communicators. I also love people who show passion and nuance; the story of the spirit, the blooming of the body. I’ve started my Masters in Communication Management so I’ve been thinking about communication and conversation more than ever – away from my natural philosophic inclinations.
Communication Management: a fancy word for the study, exploration, and purposeful transformation of messages. I read a quote not long ago by George Bernard Shaw: “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” How true those words are.
I saw Alain at the Opera House with a friend of mine in May. He was discussing his new book: On Love. We sat eagerly, along with many others, as he slowly unpacked a rather voluminous topic. He did, as we all strive to do, his authentic best in exploring the ennui in the myths of love…
How much more can we converse, exalt and indulge in the search for love – for understanding – for dialogue – for communication – for comfort?
“Words are events, they do things, change things. They transform both speaker and hearer; they feed energy back and forth and amplify it,” Ursula K. Le Guin wrote in her masterful meditation on the magic of real human conversation. “They feed understanding or emotion back and forth and amplify it.” But in moments of pain or anger, when words spring from the rawest recesses of the heart, they can amplify our deepest insecurities and emotional vulnerabilities, in turn fueling a maelstrom of mutual misunderstanding.
How to avoid that is what Alain de Botton explores in a portion of The Course of Love (public library) — the immeasurably insightful psychological novel that gave us De Botton on vulnerability and the paradox of why we sulk.
Read more at Brain Pickings