Traveling the interstate over the last few weeks, I’ve been more aware of the communication signs provide. Or should I say aware of the lack of communication they provide. They either came too late, didn’t contain the information I needed or didn’t communicate well with a car whizzing by them at 65 miles per hour. I’ve gone miles out of my way because of a missed sign.
As I traveled I found signs served an interesting side purpose as well. They became a tool for people to send their opinions and frustrations out to passing strangers, sort of a non-confrontational means of being heard. Hard to argue with a handwritten sign posted on a closed door, although I know some folks who might find a way to make their opinion of the sign heard.
We are creatures who need to express ourselves and signs provide a way to do that. Written communication allows for careful thought and preparation in a way that verbal communication sometimes doesn’t. Words are important tools for creating doorways to ideas and the more thought we give them the better they work, the better they serve our need to be heard. That need and its inevitable outlet remind us we are also a community, a living entity made of up of various organisms with different needs and ideas. How we communicate those ideas and express those needs is vital to how well we function. A body that listens only to its muscles is going to be out of balance. A community that hears only one side or listens to only one voice will soon find itself out of balance too.