Sign Language

Sign Language

Rachel and I recently took an eight week class in sign language.  We both enjoyed learning this new language, and while we are far from fluent in it, we are conversing in it every day.  What surprised me about sign language is that so many of the signs make perfect sense!

Whether we realize it or not, we all speak some kind of ‘sign language’ by the life we live.  Many times we will label a person with a word that comes to mind when we think of them.  For instance, if someone in your women’s group is a constant complainer, you will likely think of her as ‘the complainer’ because that is what her ‘sign language’ is.  If you know someone who can fill a room with laughter, they likely have a ‘sign language’ that says, “I’m the life of the party.”  A lady who constantly has to be talking about others is quickly able to inform others with her ‘sign language’ that she is a gossip.  Maybe you know someone who can’t hold down a job and always tries get hand-outs from others.  We would likely call this type of person a loser.

I love to watch people.  Sitting in the middle of the mall can be an interesting experience.  Even if you don’t hear what the people are saying, you can watch the animation in their faces and their body language and quickly determine what kind of mood they are in.  It’s the same with all of us – even though we may not speak ASL (American Sign Language), we are still speaking, if only through our own facial expressions and our body language.  What we ‘speak’ without even saying any words can cause others to quickly form an opinion on what type of person we are.

What does our ‘sign language’ speak about us?  Does it say that we are angry, bitter, impatient, or rude?  Or does it say that we are a woman who is loving, peaceful, gentle, content, kind, and joyful?
Do we need to learn a new ‘sign language?’
© 2005, Stacy R. Miller


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