“Communication is everything, and everything is communication” is a phrase I say often. I can usually tell by the confused look on the hearer’s face that it is also a phrase that is not easily or fully digested. So, let me explain. The linear communication model that is most accepted pretty much says there is a sender that develops a message, sends it through a channel to a receiver, who breaks down the message before developing a message of their own, then send that feedback through a channel back to the initial sender who then becomes the receiver and the process starts again. Of course, there is context and noise and filters and a bunch of other parts of the process we can discuss later. Let me break down this saying for now.
“Communication is everything” means it is super important. It is the one thing everyone and everything does, yet it is the one thing we as a society are not educated to do properly. Most, especially in America, never hear about the communication process I described above until they are among the few to take a required Public Speaking class in college. The American education system believes that if you know how to read and write, then you know how to communicate. That is a dangerous concept since America’s literacy average is a 7th grade level, and there are demographic pockets that can only read a series of short phrases they have memorized for survival. Even more so, it does not take into account those with any type of cognitive disability. So the vast majority never learn or have a chance at mastering a process they are forced to participate in daily.
“Everything is communication” means that everything is a message. Many think that communication is what you say. It is so much more. It is literally EVERYTHING. Everything we do, everything we wear, all of our nonverbal communication, the artifacts we display and so much more, all send messages about our thoughts, our values, our feelings, our intentions, our hurt, our passions, our education, our heritage, our politics, our faith, and on and on. The hope is that those messages match up with what we say, but that is not always the case and is often the root of conflict.
Accepting the concept that learning the communication process is important because we are continual participants in the communication process (whether aware or not) can then lead to education. With development of our communication skills, we can begin to change many destructive conversations that take place in marriages, friend groups, amongst family, and within ourselves. I hope to be a part of that education and bringing awareness to the fact that communication is everything, and everything is communication.