In a world before electronic communications, people passed the time of day by stopping to talk in the street, or by the village pond. The only tweets came from ducks’ beaks.
However, sometimes it seems that the more ways we have to connect with others, the less we actually do so.
These days, it’s not uncommon to hear stories of workmates who communicate with one another by email rather than walking a few yards to actually speak to them in person.
We often live in communities so large that the chances of bumping into someone we know are remote.
We may drive to semi-distant supermarkets where, once again, it’s pretty unlikely that we’ll see familiar faces.
Some don’t know their neighbours.
You need a constant supply of air to breathe, and fortunately there’s a good supply of this wherever you go (albeit that its quality varies from place to place) so thankfully you don’t have to seek it out.
But in a way, our connections with others are every bit as vital as oxygen.
Shut them off and it won’t be long before we show the signs of missing them.
This may not happen as quickly as it would if our air supply was cut, but a lack of human contact can have a profound effect.
Today, therefore, remind yourself of the importance of interacting with other people, treating it as being almost up there with breathing in terms of priority, and make a conscious effort to engage in conversations with those around you, especially convivial chats with no great ulterior purpose beyond making you both feel a little better for the experience.
You may not have a village pond, but you probably do have a phone, so why not call someone and tell them you’ve just phoned for a chat?