People just want to be understood. They want to know that they and their opinions matter. Nothing is worse than not being able to communicate. However, not everybody can communicate verbally. It is important to have as many ways as possible.
Babies that are taught sign language show less frustration than other ones. They are not able to master speech at an early age, but simplified gestural language is perfect for them. With baby sign language they can express if they are hungry, tired, or hurt. This cuts down on the frustration for them and their parents.
Adults have the same needs. They too want to be understood. People most need to be truly seen and heard. Communication is the responsibility of the producer and the consumer. It is important to speak clearly, and to pay attention. But what if you can’t speak well? Then you can use creative means such as painting or dance.
It is essential for humans to be creative. We need to express ourselves, and to share what we feel with others. When they don’t understand us we feel isolated and lost. That sense of connection, of community, is a hallmark of humanity.
I believe that if we teach all people different ways of expressing themselves, and we teach all people how to really listen, then we will have peace. I believe that we won’t have violence towards self or others. I believe that all violence, whether directed against the self or others, is the result of people not being able to connect to others because of a communication breakdown.