In the busy shopping mall at the weekend there was a child, a little boy about three years old, screaming his head off.
It wasn’t a hungry or tired cry, it was a fearful cry, and it set me wondering what was wrong. He was with his parents, so he wasn’t lost, but what struck me was the feeling of bedlam in that part of the mall, with the food court, rattling dishes and the loud and confusing hubbub of chatter, shouting and laughter. It was possibly this which was upsetting the boy, but he couldn’t say that. He wouldn’t have had the language to be able to describe exactly what was wrong, he just knew he felt confused and upset by the place.
It made me think about how, even as adults, if we can’t language what’s ailing us, those feelings will still have to come out, and sometimes they can appear in unacceptable behaviour; anger and striking out in either a physical or non physical way.
Education is the key. The larger vocabulary and the more knowledge we have, the more chance we have of languaging exactly what is wrong, or exactly what we want. If we can’t language it, we can’t have it because language gives us the ability to express the idea of it, and without language of some kind it is impossible.
‘Language’ can take many forms, not just spoken. Just observe how performers express feelings and situations we often don’t have words for through music and dance, with not a word said.
We don’t get taught this stuff at school and we should, because it’s how we manage ourselves as human beings – our feelings and our aspirations. It really is fundamental stuff, so it is up to us to teach ourselves and our children on a continuing basis throughout life about how best to do this. Read great books, watch great visual content and make a point of investing in yourself and your life.
Education of all sorts, and particularly education about our human state – personal development – helps us to understand and express. It expands our world, makes us aware of possibilities, broadens the horizons and assists with managing the human condition.
If we can language it, we can have it. We owe it so much to ourselves and to our children to grasp this key to expression and use it to the max!
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