Cinque Terre

Gullion Media Limited


The importance of talking.

By George Kingsnorth

If we are prevented from talking, we cannot think things through and are forced to just do. Then we are in a constant sense of fight or flight and become enslaved.

A conversation at coffee time can help us solve problems but if we have no time to meet and talk, problems can escalate. We can become paranoid. We can become unhealthy, both mentally which affects the body physically. So what do we need to do? We need to talk, to talk we need to find someone to communicate with. Therefore, we have to socialise.

Part of communicating is also about listening. We have to listen to others. One of the barriers to communication is if we are made to feel stupid and we then shut up. Holding in what we wanted to say because we feel it has no value. If we shut up - then we have been made dumb - in other words silenced and controlled.

This is what happens in a tyrannical situation where we are treated like robots. Robots - if you were to search for its meaning turns out to be a slave (Hiskey, 2012; Wikipedia, 2016). So if we are forced to be dumbed down, made to shut up and do as we are told - we are actively becoming slaves. Therefore, we have to be active in talking.

As a teacher, when a student asked a question it was never deemed to be stupid, what it showed was that the person was thinking the process through, they had recognised something in what was being discussed and were beginning to critically analyse. This allowed me to begin the assessment into their learning and be able to guide them through the process.

As adults we are looking for solutions to problems we have now, and the best way to discover the answer is to ask someone a question. In the Bible, what we see now as Holy Communion, where no-one talks to one another, was actually when Jesus and his disciples sat down to have a meal and talk things through. In all the teachings, the disciples listened to stories but were also encourage to challenge and ask questions.

To give of oneself by talking and listening, we learn and can question what we have ourselves have said. Giving and receiving. We have to give up what we are thinking inside our own heads in order to give an answer. We then have to actively listening to the responses give to what we have said. We can then test out both what we have said and how others have responded. In this way we can then put into practice what we have learnt to see if it works, if it is true. If it doesn't work then we need to question what has been said to see if we have misunderstood the process. (Fisher et al, 2016)

Often it is in the way we have heard or interpreted the words spoken that has led to the misunderstanding, jumbled up the message and not allowed us to take in the full information. By not listening fully we are unable to recreate the processes, we cannot do the practical and need to be corrected. We also need to be able to determine if the processes being delivered to us have been correctly communicated in the first place, and if not then it is this part of the process that needs to be adjusted and made correct.

Therefore, the process includes talking, sharing experiences, listening, planning an activity, and then putting into action what has been discussed. We need to then monitor and assess whether the process has worked or not, so that we can rethink the process by asking further questions and testing the responses. In other words, experiment until the desired outcome has been reached through critical analyses.

If we are forced by our culture and society not to talk things through but to just do, without being allowed to ask questions, as often schooling is forced to do to meet deadlines, affectively we have become dead, lifeless and dumb - unable to talk, and we become enslaved.

So what is important is that we talk, communicate with one another and allow time for discussions, which involves both talking and listening, where everyone has the opportunity to relate what is going on. Then we each have the opportunity to grow because we can feed on the communication (communion) we have been given - as long as we are open to receiving (listening).


Fisher, D. Frey, N. & Rothenberg, C. (2016) 'Chapter 1. Why Talk Is Important in Classrooms', Content-Area Conversations, ASCD - Learn, Teach, Lead. Available from: (Accessed on: 6th Dec 2016)

Hiskey, D. (2012) Where does the word robot come from? Today I found out, Available from: (Accessed on: 6th Dec 2016)

Wikipedia (2016) Robot, Available from: (Accessed on: 6th Dec 2016)