I often feel like a deaf and mute. I hear the words spoken to me but I do not understand; I speak out words but I am not understood. Part of this frustrating experience is age. The synapses in my neurons do not spark and trigger off as fast as they used to. The lag might just be milliseconds but still enough to leave uneasy and even embarrassing gaps in my conversations. Then there is the language barrier. English is my second language. My expressions, intonation and accent are different from those of native speakers. And finally, there is the generation gap. I am a child of the 60’s. My expressions, paradigms and worldview are from that era. They do not often work as well in this day and age of technology and computers.
It is a humbling experience. And it has taught me how to be even more patient, mainly with myself. I love to be with people. Often, I chose to be by myself to avoid embarrassing situations. I’d rather read a book than watch a TV show because I can understand better what I see than what I hear. I love moments of silence and solitude to enable me to make heads and tails of events and conversations, to make sense of what is happening in my life and hoping for my ears to be opened and my speech impediment removed.