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Minister's minute: A picture says a thousand words

The behaviours, patterns and interactions in daily life can also say a thousand words.
Religion on the inside column
A woman is pictured reading the holy bible.

While a picture can say a thousand words, so too can actions and gestures.

The behaviours, patterns and interactions in daily life can also say a thousand words. While words are important in language and communication, they often only go so far and only convey part of the message. It is complicated too, because so often our words can have more than one meaning.

The intent of the message can be confusing or misleading if we rely solely on words. Emails are a classic example of this. How often, do we read and re-read an email to try and decipher what the sender of the email really means. Are they upset, being sarcastic, trying to be funny. . . ? We need more. We need tone of voice, body language and context to be able to fully understand what the other is saying to us. Thus, our actions are important, the non-spoken and non-written language is vital to understanding.

A gently placed hand on the shoulder of a friend who is upset, says, and means everything, and is more impactful than any words we may add at that time. As a wise mentor of mine once said, “Robin, all you need to do is show up. You don’t have to say anything, and it is probably best you don’t. All you need to do is show up.”

Nov. 11 is a day when we, along with the rest of the world, are invited to show up and remember those who have lost their lives in conflict around the world and those who still put their lives on the line to ensure the quality of life we all enjoy. It is a day where our actions say a thousand words. It is a day when we are invited to show up. In our participating in this important day, we pray and hope for a world where armed conflict may cease, and the people of the world can live in harmony. It starts with us showing up.

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