The Animal That Speaks

Cave paintings and other early communications lead to the inference that it had a strong influence in building the society.


Photo credit: Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

Nidhi S

It is well known that even from the early days of man’s existence, there have been many ways of communicating. The cave paintings and other early communications lead to the inference that it had a strong influence in building the society.

Therefore, it appears that communication is a dynamic, interactive and continuous process between at least two persons. Also, for communication to occur, there is a need for a source, recipient and medium. The need for a subject or topic of communication, cannot be overemphasized. Various means have developed over the years which include verbal communication like speaking, speeches, talk shows, dramatics; written communication including books, letters, newspapers, blogs; and non-verbal communication such as images, paintings, gestures, and languages. Albert Mehrabian, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of California. through his long years of study on congruence indicates that only 7% of what we communicate is a message. The tone, intonation, etc. is 38% and the balance 55% is body language.

The psychological need for communication is evident from the fact that deprivation is very difficult to accept. We are aware of corrective punishments like ‘facing the wall’ as a child and solitary confinements for crimes. The plot of Anton Chekhov’s “The Bet” brings out a strong need for communication. The protagonist – ‘the young lawyer’ – remained sane by reading a large variety of books and educating himself. This is an extreme case of communicating with oneself through books.

Another form of communication is business-related. From our daily needs to luxuries, we depend on suppliers and service providers and need to communicate with them. This type of communication forms a greater part of today’s economy and keeps it buoyant.

Recognizing the importance of communication and speech to human beings, the liberal world considers it a Human Right. From the article in Universal Declaration of Human Rights to our Constitution (fundamental rights), the human right to communicate is celebrated. Stifling communications by Fascist regimes and iron curtains have only resulted in concentration camps, Tiananmens to Balkanization.

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