Communicating Without Words

Our parents and teachers have always taught us the importance of expression and connection through language and words. We spend the bulk of our academic pursuits strengthening our vocabularies with elaborate SAT words, and reading the works of famous novelists in efforts to understand every element of the human condition that we possibly can. We use words to help us understand one another. We build sentences to build connections. Words help us express ourselves. 

Well, today I didn't need words. All I needed was an open heart. 

We woke up at 6:30 this morning with just enough time to daven, eat breakfast, pack lunch, and arrive promptly at Zanmi Beni (Blessed friends in Haitian Criole). Zamni Beni is home to 64 displaced children, many of whom are severely physically or mentally disabled. I was nervous. I could not fathom the possibility of communicating with these children under a language barrier. The notion seemed impossible to me. How could I efficiently relay any type of message without the ability to speak or understand? 

I was quite mistaken. Within moments, I had children tightly grasping each of my hands, pulling me in different directions. The connection was instantaneous. Hours flew by as we ran around playfully laughing along with each other. We played sports, drew pictures, danced, and played games. I didn't need a word of Criole, and the children didn't need a word of English. We were speaking the same language regardless of where we came from; the language of laughter, wholeheartedness, and sincerity. I learned today that all of humanity shares an intrinsic language. It's loud, and it's clear. All you need  to uncover it, is an open heart. 


Written By

January 16, 2015 at 6:07 PM




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