In a society that relies heavily on words and their meanings, I am often surprised at how much powerful discourse is nonverbal. Certainly, my craft relies on the proper placement of timely language. But never do I believe that dialect is the best or only way to convey messages.

For example, we recently completed a major landscaping project with a hard-working gentleman who spoke almost no English. While I tried to express our needs and priorities in the best Spanish I could conjure, many words were beyond my recollection. Yet we managed to organize and execute a project, primarily by eye contact, handshakes and copious thank you affirmations in both languages.

We speak volumes when baking a favorite dessert or remembering to buy an ingredient that was omitted from the shopping list. Carrying heavy packages, holding a door and preparing new coffee flavors are all forms of communication.

The best and finest exercise of language is not to employ it at all. As adults, we all have (or should have) filters that prevent us from hurting others, stating the obvious and spouting junk that others simply don’t want to hear. Children without these filters have inherently less liability.

Thomas Fuller said, “Promises may get friends but it’s performances that keep them.” From this desk, I would rather say nothing to you than waste your time, bore you or distribute meaningless gossip. There is really something wise about vows of silence.

My best guess is that we would all be enhanced by more promise-keeping or viable engagement and minimal verbal pollution. If you need substantiation, check your social media, local news broadcasts or political blustering. Shalom.

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