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Musings on ways to communicate
Senior Moments
Rich DeLong is the executive director of Station Exchange Senior Care. - photo by File photo

"When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat."– Ronald Reagan

What is the strongest muscle in the human body? Some say it is the tongue because of the power that words have as we speak them. Others argue it is the masseter muscle in the jaw, which can exert more force than any other muscle in the body.

Other muscles merit mentioning for various reasons – take the heart for example, with its ability to contract over 3 billion times in a person’s life.

Then we have the gluteus maximus, the largest muscle in the human body. The external muscles of the eye are the most active muscles. And quite possibly the strongest muscle in the body pound-for-pound is the myometrial layer of the uterus. Try giving birth naturally without this muscle – ain’t gonna happen.

For me, any muscle that we can use to help us be better communicators is an important muscle. My dad used to say that one day our bodies will be just a head with a big finger coming out of the top.

Surprisingly, his prediction was not that far off.

Of course my father used to communicate with his fingers the old fashioned way. When he held up his index finger that meant you had only one more chance to do what was needed to correct the situation.

It was rare that he ever had to hold up an additional finger. Two fingers meant you better be able to run fast because you could not be in close range when the third finger popped up. My father had several other finger gestures, which I can’t describe.

Yes, we use our fingers, or more properly said, digits (since some do not consider the thumb a finger) to communicate more now than ever before. And we have so many avenues for communication these days it seems odd that we still have a hard time understanding what everybody is saying.

We are great at telling everybody what we want them to hear, but lousy at actually communicating with one another. Probably because communication is a two-way street and most of the avenues we use today to tell our stories are one-way roads. Some even lead to dead ends.

We’ve also become a community of signs. Walk into any office building, or better yet the mail room of your workplace, and count the number of notices and signs on the wall. Again, this is a one-way thoroughfare for communication, and nobody reads anymore unless it comes in a text or tweet with 140 characters or less. Although Twitter has upped the character count for some of their users to 280, but that’s another article for a later date.

The word "communication" always seems to pop up in a conversation. We either wish it could be better, or blame the lack of it for our problems.

Maybe today’s issues aren’t so much about communication as they are about relationships. Think about it, in the old-fashioned way of communicating, one could build a relationship with the person you were talking to.

Nowadays, we don’t even know who is, and who is not, receiving our messages. We just put it out there and hope for the best.

We spend hours each day on our phones but little time actually talking on the darn thing. Our smartphones really make us a dumber society. Did you get that?

Pun intended my friends!

Contact him at 912-531-7867 or

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