If we did not have language, if the words we continually mix and match together were to suddenly evaporate into the vacuum of inward-pointing nothingness, their meaning plucked from our awarenesses like grass pulled up by a toddler in her backyard…what would we be left with? Unable to relate to one another, powerless to communicate wants and needs and feelings with our fellow humans, where would we be?
If language was to simply vanish from the realm of what we know, how would we survive? If a skill we’ve had since the early days of man (the specifics of exactly when being debated still) was taken from us, how would we progress? How would we work together in the same way that allowed our species to survive the brutalities of evolution?
If we didn’t have language I’d infuse meaning into every bodily maneuver, carve understanding out of human connection, mark every milestone with passion. I’d sit with my loved ones in purposeful silence to absorb what they feel through their presence. And, conversely, send my feelings out into the world by exuding dramatically different energies, as I tend to be good at, for whatever reason.
If we didn’t have language, I’d still create meaningful stories with artistic interpretations and still influence your perception through means of my wild gesticulations and pointed movements. I’d take you here and there, physically if necessary, to get my point across and see the comprehension spread wonderfully across your face.
If we didn’t have language, we’d be left with less, but we’d make up for it. If we lost the use of words, we’d still be here, despite that “here” would feel different. If verbal speech were to vanish, we’d survive and we’d progress, because we’d have no other option.
There are all sorts of communication and language takes many forms. There are endless amounts of ways to express oneself and convey emotion and explain life. And they’re all beautiful. But words…words will forever remain my favorite.