I’ve been taking walks in the park in the afternoon these days. I plan to go every day; I make it about half the time. Some might say I’m not a very committed walker and they’d be right. Almost every time I walk, I see the same two people also walking. We pass and smile, maybe a half-hearted wave, or a tip of an eyebrow. We’ve never exchanged a word, I don’t know their names, and yet there is connection that transcends words. Social training, some rules on politeness and manners, installed years ago push me to speak to my walking friends, but after so long, words would pollute what we’ve created.
They tell me complex language is one of the attributes that sets humans apart from many other animals. As a species we do seem to have a real knack for talking, but maybe there’s more than words for us humans. Maybe like the other animals we have great capacity to communicate in other ways, ways that have been lost is a sea of talking. Maybe we don’t have to talk to know each other.
Will I talk to my friends at the park?
I think not.