In a series of theme evenings at The Association for Coaching, the theme on 14 November 2013 was:
Language, Α and Ω of being human
The distance between man and animal was once immense. In contrast to all other creatures, man was created in God’s image. But that distance gradually decreased. Absolute differences eventually proved to be only gradual. The average human can easily see at a glance whether a table is set for 8 or 10, but a hedgehog also has a sense of numbers, only it is lower than in humans (out of a litter of 10, a mother hedgehog will not easily miss one, but that is different with a litter of 3). Consciousness, self-awareness and culture were also reserved for humans for a long time, but alas… Yet there is one characteristic that makes humans human: language! Of course, animals also communicate and of course, they do so with sounds, but you cannot call it language.
Perhaps this is because human language has not evolved from animal communication. That is what we have apart from our language: cries such as “au” or “hèhè”, but also getting goose bumps, stamping your feet or picking your chin. Perhaps human language did not even originate as a means of communication. Where does language come from? Since when have we had it? What have been the consequences for our behaviour? And what has language not changed about us? In this last theme evening of the year, we look a little less at the coaching profession itself and a little more at ourselves.
Based on Dageraad, Rik Smits, 2009.