|Image by Quinn Kampschroer from Pixabay|
As I returned to work, the importance of what we do as SLPs (and educators) wasn't lost on me. We know communication is connection. We know the cost of when the intimacy of conversation is lost. I was reminded of how valuable communication is, beyond how we form sounds or sentences, beyond assessments and Facebook controversies, this past winter.
Our son, Mack was traveling from New York City home to NH for the holidays. It was his first year of college and we couldn't wait to see him, to hold him, to talk to him. As he was heading to the bus stop, he saw a homeless man who had no socks. Mack stopped, removed his socks, and gave them to the man. "Thank you," the man said, "but do you have a minute? I really appreciate the socks, but I could use someone to talk to. People give me food and money, but nobody ever talks to me." Mack sat down next to the man and spent the next fifteen minutes talking, just talking. The man asked which Mack preferred, Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks, random small talk. And they just talked. It cost Mack nothing and it offered another human being connection and dignity and worth. When Mack recounted the incident, he said, "Ma, he only wanted someone to talk to. I could do that."
As I go into this school year I hope I don't forget how valuable what we do is. In this fast paced, social media driven world there are lots of hashtags about communication and plenty of slogans, but the real impact is sometimes simply seeing another person and taking the time to talk.