In a world that is becoming more technologically advanced, it seems that everyday the importance of education becomes more relevant. Education should be practiced and should be the norm for the families in African American communities from birth. Hopefully in doing so, we will equip youth with the necessary tools to function effectively in a competitive world.

However, education is only half of the equation for being a productive and successful member of society. The other skill that should be promoted is the art of communication. We live in a world in where timid or shy individuals could have a rough time adapting, regardless their level of education. We are living in a world where e-mails and text messages are becoming the status quo for communicating with one another.

What price comes along with this ever increasing digital age?

Social and communication skills are taking a back seat. Important human interactions such as eye contact, firm handshakes, and tone of voice are becoming totally foreign to the new generations coming up. At some point, we must stop and take account of what toll this digital age will have on our humanity.

How long will it take before our society becomes totally anti-social and reclusive?

There is already a noticeable difference between the individual who can articulate and communicate the knowledge held within them and the one who cannot. All the education in the world, amounts to naught, if the person in possession of it lacks the necessary social skills.

I asked my co-worker Adrianna Barron of Fontana, Calif., about the importance of instilling the power of communication in our youth. Adrianna replied, “education and the ability to convey your message is an essential combination in being successful in life.”

She also said from that an early age, children need to be encouraged to speak upon entering a room and maintain eye contact with the person with whom they are conversing in order to build confidence and prepare them to overcome any fears or obstacles they may face in their lives.

Parents must engage their children in conversation instead of opting for movies and television to do the interacting. Young men and women alike need to be taught the importance speaking with power and confidence. Humans are social beings by nature. To inhibit our inherent urge to be close to one another, to sit and talk with each other, to hear the soothing or encouraging tone of our loved one’s voices means to almost completely wipe out our “human” essence. Individuals lacking social skills are a recipe for failure as a people.

I have witnessed on too many occasions, young men speaking with their head hung low or simply being unable to communicate in a courageous manner. Equipping our youth with basic communication skills can go a long way to possibly improving their chances of becoming future leaders in our society.

Education, along with an understanding of the inescapable social nature of our world, will undoubtedly foster a sense of pride and esteem in the hearts and minds of the youth. So, henceforth we must engage our young people to engage in fruitful conversation. Parents must communicate their wisdom to the up-and-coming young adults and must also be prepared to hear with patience the fresh ideas of our children.

Everyone has a gift to contribute to the whole and only through communication will we be able to harness an immense and inexhaustible force of positive change.
Communication is the key to unity.

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