Monthly Musing – September 2016 – Just keep talking

I will be the first to admit that I have rather a lot to say for
myself.  I go off at tangents, usually
waving my hands in the air, and often forget what I started saying in the first
place.  The discipline of working to a (loose!) word count in
my blog posts is good for me, so you can rest easy that I’m not going to be
podcasting any time soon!

All joking aside, talking is good for us.  I spent last weekend at the Yarndale festival
talking socks (and other subjects) to so many people who made my weekend full
of joy and completely topped up my well-being tanks.  I think that we underestimate how much we
need the physical presence of other people so that we can share views, learn
new things and even just pass the time of day. 
When I’m out with the dog, I say hello to everyone we meet because you
never know – I might be the only person they speak to in their whole day.  Loneliness is one of the biggest killers in
our world and conversation, however brief, is one of the ways to reduce it.

It’s too easy to be wrapped up in our own business – and busy-ness –
and not think about how it’s affecting us. 
Sometimes we are too busy to speak to anybody, rushing from one task to
the next, but we need different conversations in our day as much as we need to
eat five fruit and vegetable portions. 
We need to talk office talk, to discuss the weather, to share a joke or
criticise last night’s television schedule. 
We need to learn, to teach, to sing … we need to keep talking.  I think it’s as vital to our health and
well-being as air, food or sleep.

I remembered a quotation by Stephen Hawking this morning.   It was used in a BT advert in 1994 and I
think it sums up everything that is important about the power that we have in
our ability to use words to communicate. 
Words can be used positively or negatively, often without much thought
for the consequences when we speak.  Wars
have been started over misunderstandings in our communication and peace
treaties have been brokered by conversation between the injured parties. 

So yes, I do have a lot to say for myself (and maybe sometimes I
should say less!) but I would rather try to say something positive and brighten
someone’s day than not speak at all and pass my hours in silence.  Words can be like sunshine through the
clouds, and you can never have too much of that.

“For millions of years, mankind lived just like the
animals. Then something happened which unleashed the power of our imagination.
We learned to talk and we learned to listen. Speech has allowed the
communication of ideas, enabling human beings to work together to build the
impossible. Mankind’s greatest achievements have come about by talking and its
greatest failures by not talking. It doesn’t have to be like this. Our greatest
hopes could become reality in the future. With the technology at our disposal,
the possibilities are unbounded. All we need to do is make sure we keep
talking.”

– Stephen Hawking

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16 Responses

  1. Bethany says:

    Hi Christine–I love this post!!!! So very true!

  2. Christina says:

    This is a lovely post Christine, it resonates with me. I 'suffer from' what my family calls verbal diarrhoea… I like a good chat. Have a great weekend. x

  3. Unknown says:

    What a wonderful blog Christine, something everyone should read. My thoughts exactly, I too speak to everyone I pass during my day. …I have enjoyed all your photos of yarndale and could see my little sheep clearly, a real thrill. I would love to meet and talk to both you and Lucy. Thankyou Carolyn NZ (we have lots of sheep near us ) !!

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Thank you! Yes, you are a bit far away to come to Yarndale unless it was part of a bigger holiday, but you aren't missing out on the sheep! xx

  4. AnnieOBTextiles says:

    How true Christine, a chat with a friend (or even a stranger) can brighten a day. It has been so lovely to see all the Yarndale photos and fascinating to see the before and after pictures in your last post.

    • Winwick Mum says:

      I'm glad you liked them! Yarndale is definitely one of the highlights of my year – and a good excuse to talk! 🙂 xx

  5. Angela says:

    I really enjoyed this post. It is so true. You never know what other people are going through and a kind word or a cheery hello can make such a difference. I have spent the last 15 years teaching children who can't talk and believe me, it is not something we should take for granted. If we have been blessed with the ability to talk, let's put it to good use x

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Goodness, not being able to talk would be such a disadvantage! What a wonderful job you have working with those children; I hope they are all so much more articulate after being with you xx

  6. Susan says:

    Absolutely true, and applies as much to family as to strangers. So important for our everyone's mental health.

  7. Unknown says:

    Hi Christine, Thank you for your lovely blog, learning to knit socks has been a real pleasure and I hope to give some handmade socks as Christmas gifts this year. I think you are so right about the importance of communication, words can be so powerful, we need to use our words to build each other up. However, I have to disagree with Hawking, I am a Christian and I believe that God gave us the gift of communication. I am inspired to use this gift to encourage others and to talk about the hope I have in Jesus. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Dawn

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Do you know, it would never have occurred to me that God wasn't involved in Hawking's quotation? Mankind may have learnt to talk but my assumption is that the ability was always inbuilt. 🙂 xx

  8. helenpollard says:

    This is so true and very insightful. It's definitely too easy to go for periods of time without actually opening your mouth to speak to someone. I definitely am guilty of being wrapped up in my own tasks and end up not communicating with people like I should, or cutting conversations short because I'm in a rush.

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Oh me too! It's sitting down to write posts like this one that make me stop for a minute to think about what I'm actually doing and whether it matters if it doesn't get done NOW 🙂 xx

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