The Good Communicator
The Solemnity of Mary Help of Christians brought me many blessings. A very good confrere and friend, one that can really inspire you and worthy of emulation and imitation, Bro. Donnie Duchin Duya, SDB, gave me a book regarding Salesian Social Communications. As I read through its first pages, I felt a rush of inferiority. With my current standing now, am I worthy to become a Salesian communicator? What is really the essence of communication?
I remember my high school studies in Oral Communication where our great teacher, Ms. Regiene Sarana nee Ynclino, first introduced us to the model of communications: sender-message-medium-receiver-feedback. The model is enough for basic presentation. However, we have come to know that even the sender is a message himself. The advertising industry tells us that delivering the message is all about impact and imprint.
The Christian viewpoint of Communication involves a deeper level of understanding. We model ourselves after Christ, the perfect communicator. Jesus is the Message and His whole life became a message to us. From womb to tomb, He perfectly delivered the Father’s message to us. He is the Perfect Communicator. For us to become a good communicator, there must be a seamless integration and identification of message and life, of the exterior and interior life.
This is crucial for us Salesians who want to make a difference in the Social Communications field. As we strive to evangelize the media and make ourselves present to the young even in the internet and the web, we must become the message ourselves – the message of Christ.
So, who is the good communicator? Certainly, it isn’t limited to public speaking and media production skills. A person who can speak well in front of people or do a full-length video documentary all by himself fails at communications when he can’t deliver the message. Nor is communication limited to delivering the message faithfully and clearly. I believe the good communicator is able to send the message across and transform the receiver to become the message to other people. Communication must have a transforming and transcending power.
This reminds me of stories of how people can inspire others without saying a word. Even a person’s presence is enough to touch the hearts of men. Here lies the challenge. A person must embody his own message to such a degree that even his own presence broadcasts it powerfully breaking through the walls of interpersonal distance. Let it be that a young boy look at a Salesian and see Christ and Don Bosco in him.