When The Need For Expression Can Not Be Spoken

Published by Shahdaroba Wednesday 21st March 2018
Visual image to lend credence to the post

It has been some months since I last posted. This post is more about not having a voice. To speak without speaking a word, and still have people understand you. This is not one of my unusual thoughts at least I don’t think it is.

Not too long ago I found myself in the middle of an argument. One person was saying how not being able to speak must have an impact when it comes to getting a job, especially a top-of-tree position.

The other person argued that there are many examples of people who rely on sign language and who do have jobs in high positions. I left them at it and got back to what I should have been doing.

It was not until some time later in the day I had reason to remember the argument in detail. It got me thinking about what did we do before we used words or sign language to make ourselves understood.

The argument I had been in the middle of earlier in the day was neither here nor there. In a roundabout way, they both have merit.

History tells us cave paintings are the oldest known art which was then considered a form of communication between people. The oldest cave paintings date back as far as 30,000 BC.

Much later in history, the Ancient Egyptians and Ancient Greeks combined both pictures and words to give rise to being understood. Many examples can be found in various museums up and down Britain today.

Ancient Artwork

So what has this to do with speaking and sign language? If cave paintings are the earliest form of communication by illustration how did Mr. Cave Man communicate with Mrs. Cave Woman? Could it have been by the use of expression and gestures?

It is possible to be understood without speaking. This is also true of someone from another country we can all understand human emotion. The likes of pain, anger, joy, and so on are clearly there to see without a word being spoken.

Well, I am willing to bet a form of vocal cord grunts and hand gestures conveyed to Mrs. Cave Woman that her man had killed the nearest beast and it was time for dinner. In my mind, it must have been some time centuries later before the expression of speech became the norm.


I am of the opinion that both speaking and signing had to be learned as humankind continued to evolve, and sign language be it rough in the form of verbal grunts and hand gestures was around many centuries ago, long before speaking and modern-day sign language as we know it to date.

So it has always been possible to understand any human being without saying the words regardless of sex, creed, nationality, etc. We just need to try and make time to share and understand the needs we all have in one way or another.

Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay