Thought for the Week, October 23 2020

Thought for the Week author Marilyn Shedden

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I am fascinated by those amazing people who do the sign language for politicians and presenters.

Their expressions are so remarkable and certainly give a flavour of what is being said.

I would dearly love to learn this and I’m delighted to see children are learning to do signing in our schools.

Non-verbal communication is a powerful means of conveying feelings in all members of the animal kingdom.

We just need to watch animals from the great majestic elephants to the tiniest ant.

Elephants have such sensitivity that they even have their own grieving ritual.

When one of their own dies, the herd gather round the dead animal in a circle, gently touching the deceased with their trunks then, just as gently, cover the elephant with leaves, before standing silently and completely still for hours with great respect.

As I watch our two collies, I see the amazing communication between them. Different barks are used for different reasons and they constantly message one another without a phone or an app.

Paws are used to make requests, elicit sympathy or as a sign of affection.

Their little Westie friend has also taught them how to get a quicker response by using a sharp short scrape on the leg!

How important communication is for us all and, during this time of lockdown restrictions, we see people suffering because of the lack of social contact and communication.

It is a serious issue and one which will get worse as the winter rolls in bringing the dark lonely nights.

Pick up the phone and make that call.

You never know when a moment and a few sincere words can have an impact on a life.