Written by Kemal Sayar

One of the major issues in our day is lack of communication. People do not listen to or understand each other and a healthy communication cannot be established. Communication that has become virtual brings along issues. Prof. Dr. Kemal Sayar explained the secrets of healthy communication in this context.

In today’s society, we all talk excessively. We want our voices, our words to be the truest, the strongest cry. We do not
consider that there are other voices and we must make room for them. However what we need most in communication is to keep silent and listen to the other party. A true communication is only possible when we make room for the words of the other person. Sometimes we keep quiet and the others talk, sometimes we talk and the others listen. A true communication requires reaching a common ground in conversation and proceed from there. Of course we should be able to understand the other. Listening is more than just hearing the words a person utters.

In establishing communication, it is important to make the other party feels special and valuable. We must be sincere to the other person. When you are forthright with the person you communicate with, when s/he feels you
listen sincerely, the conversation will proceed in a much healthier fashion. That is what empathy is about. Empathy
is not only walking in other person’s shoes, but the fact that s/he is feeling it at the same time. Actually there is no
need to be too chatty, it is the secret of communication.

One must possess the qualities of a good human being, have a strong sense of empathy, and make special efforts to listen sincerely and understand the trouble, distress of the other for a true communication. Because when people
feel sad, they wish to share it with someone who can understand their feelings which means they have the need  to talk to people who can show empathy. The person who shows empathy must focus on not the actions and circumstances, but the other’s emotions. You  must draw near to the semantic world of the other person in conversation and discover that. A healthy empathy requires seeing the world through the eyes of the other. This is why we must constantly improve our empathy skills to establish a true communication. But how do we improve that? Through literature of course. Through reading a lot of poetry and novels… Because a novel allows us to identify with different characters. Moreover, it provides us with the opportunity to enter the lives of people who we believe to be utterly different from us and to appreciate them. Literature brings one together with the fine feelings and traits within one’s self; it illuminates the hidden aspects of the human soul. A person who does not read, has a difficult time making sense of one’s self. Reading is an illuminating experience. Reading is valuable in improving ourselves and our inner world, and at the same time adopting an unbiased attitude towards human condition. Literature provides us with the opportunity to enter the lives of people who we believe to be utterly different from us and to understand them. Some conflicts and states of mind we have ignored or been unaware of before, catch our attention by way of literature. By reflecting on these matters, we also reach our own depths. Literature has such an aspect. Like a North Star that guides people.

Another major issue for people is not understanding. What lies behind most of the issues we face in everyday life is a
lack of understanding. Understanding is forgiving. When we understand the other, we have less prejudices and realize that all people can be understood. Mevlana has a saying: “Come on, I come leaving myself behind, and you come leaving yourself behind.” This is a good formula to overcome prejudices. This way we get the chance to establish more meaningful and sincere friendships. In short, listening and empathy are major skills in communicating with other people. The words you use matter. There are moments of enlightenment in all our lives. One day you form such a sentence while talking to someone else that this sentence may be of great significance to that person or unlock something. An ordinary sentence might become a lifesaving kit for that person. This is why we should avoid talking as we please and calculate our words. One must save on words, and learn to talk when it is appropriate.

We face numerous issues regarding communication in our day. I believe that one cannot establish a true communication without learning well the folk songs of this country. For instance, someone who does not listen to Neşet Ertaş, cannot be a good listener. At the same time it is wrong to look down on the people of this nation. Those who despise humanity, not regarding humanity as the seed of Adam and vain people experience troubles in communication. Here the importance of insights is revealed. Because all people have blind spots and these blind spots indicate that we are incapable of viewing ourselves. This prompts us to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. If we do not face ourselves and know ourselves, we cannot discover our blind spots. As the old saying goes: “I have become means I am dead.” One must sustain continuity to not to die. We must read a lot and improve ourselves.

One must not waste time. Because life is valuable and humans are given sufficient time to make their dreams
come true. However we must lay down our phones, and avoid from spending long and useless hours online for that
purpose. We must leave that aside and achieve to get lost in a book. We like to access everything through a screen
however this makes our attention superficial. In order to get away from the troubles of everyday life and keep busy,
we steer towards television. Instead of facing the real world, we try to exist in virtual and imaginary realms. Marriage
and quiz shows, series reflect people’s desire to get away from the reality and keep busy by creating a fairy tale world.
People constantly have smartphones in their hands, they play games and virtually communicate with their friends.
I can say that making conversation has become a thing of past. We have stopped searching for the truth because
of the virtual world. We get away from a person by clicking a key or get approval by writing a quote. These require some effort in the real world. People avoid truth. Everybody stares at monitors, nobody observes one another. People
must unplug themselves. We must get away from electronic devices at least two hours a day and look at each others’
faces and make empathy.



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Kemal Sayar

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