Opinion: Can adults communicate?

By Emma Birky    Sterling, KS — May 3, 2018, 2:00 P.M.

When we started going to school as children it was drilled into our little heads the importance of communicating what you are feeling, whether it’s asking another student to share the jump rope or talking to teachers about assignments. Since the very beginning, we were taught how to socialize with other students and with our teachers.

But it appears all those skills we learned back in grade school have been thrown out the window once we get to college.

Communication is one of the first things we learn as human beings. I am not talking about just speaking words or having a conversation, communication is also about being clear and concise.

I myself am a Communication major and when people ask what my major is I usually get a small chuckle, or they will ask me what “Communication” even means. Even at Sterling College people have referenced it as the easiest major on campus. I didn’t pick Communication because it was easy, because believe me, it isn’t.

I picked Communication because it is a skill that everyone needs to master, and it is field of study that will be relevant for as long as humanity exists (sorry science majors it looks like I’ll be the one with a job when yours is entirely taken over by machines).

If communication was easy I wouldn’t be writing this editorial. The fact is communicating is not as easy as people think. The dictionary defines communication as “the imparting or exchanging of information or news.” Communication takes two people, one giving the information or news and the other one receiving. It is important that everyone who needs to know the information is included.

Being a good communicator takes a lot of different characteristics.Communication takes patience and kindness, and it requires selflessness and humility.

Patience is important when communicating with others because the message being sent might not be one that is enjoyable or fun but that is life.

That is “adulting.”

It can often be frustrating working with many different people especially at a place like Sterling College where we have many different departments using the same space, and it can be easy to get frustrated. It would make a world of difference if people were patient with one another and realize that we are still a part of the same school and same family.

People at Sterling College tend to worry too much about what people might think or worry too much about how someone might respond so we tiptoe around each other to avoid hurting feelings, but that can be easily misinterpreted as passive aggressiveness.

The Lord calls us to be open and honest with each other especially to those who are believers. It is okay, in fact encouraged, to communicate and share our frustrations as Colossians 3:13 says, “bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you also must forgive” (English Standard Version).

On the Sterling College campus one of the first things you hear is “servant leadership.”

This idea of servant leadership is seen all over campus especially through the statue of Jesus washing Peter’s feet. This statue is a reminder to strive to be Christ-like, placing others before us and acting in humility.

On a small campus like Sterling College, we cannot be wasting our time with pettiness and arguments. Open communication expressed with selflessness and humility will be more accepted than just “beating around the bush.”

As Matthew 7:12 says “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law of the Prophets.”

Our campus is too small to allow these arguments and issues to keep happening.

And for Pete’s sake, we are all adults.

We are taught how to share our feelings in grade school, so why is it so difficult for us now to communicate with other adults.

Have we really lost so much of our communicating skills through technology? I think not!

We need to keep each other informed and when miscommunication happens, because it will happen, then we can address those issues with patience and humility.