Any effective worldview must include a common framework of understanding. The primary platform is language, which is the basis of exchanging ideas and communicating. In any communication, there are three parts – the message, the transmitter, and the receptor of the message. In most cases, the message uses language, which requires specific definitions. Therefore, the message itself must have common definitions, which express the ideas of the message. Ideas use words, symbols, signs, pictures, images, and expressions that convey the idea. Each individual’s language and culture have standards that define the components of a message allowing the transmitter and receptor to understand the meaning of the message.

There is an added dimension to the message, which are the paradigms of the individual transmitter and receptor. The diversity and uniqueness of each individual form these paradigms, which adds to the challenges of these messages. The starting point for communications are words. Since words have a specific meaning within the context of a language and culture, it is a good place to explain the common framework. Generally, the majority of information exchange is successful. When the information and thoughts are benign and physical, it works. When you ask someone to meet for drinks, this is relatively successful in understanding the meaning. However if you ask someone to have dinner, it can mean different things. In some cultures, this means an evening meal, whereas in other traditions mean midday. Lunch is clearly midday and supper is in the evening. Dinner means a main meal whether at midday or evening. Supper is a light evening meal; breakfast is the first meal of the day usually in the morning, whereas brunch is a combination of breakfast and lunch taken in late morning. You know this because it is an accepted definition of these words, and you can use dictionaries that have these definitions of their meanings.

On one occasion, an invitation to dinner created a diplomatic challenge. I arrive that evening only to learn that people were waiting for me at noon. An embarrassment to the hostess in delaying her guests waiting for me. It is a lesson to make sure that I always understood the context of the traditions of that culture. The importance of understanding the meaning of communications is essential for an effective worldview. It is also a critical element in the integrity of institutions, social exchanges, and ensuring peace and harmony among people.