What are you saying when you don’t say anything at all?
What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say. – Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist and poet
We humans do a lot of things while upright. This video provides a unique and clear view of a a number of people walking and then a larger group simultaneously standing for for several minutes. It’s not often that we have that kind of opportunity, especially the standing part.
I’ve found it compelling viewing from an Alexander Technique point of view. The Technique is all about learning how we manage ourselves as we move, sit or stand, and how we can bring greater ease into our life.
I’ve been watching the video with the sound muted so I could better focus on the visual. If I see something that looks interesting, I watch that part at one quarter speed so I can catch every detail.
Many viewers have commented on Trump’s movements in this video as he attempts to stabilize himself in an upright position with nothing to hold on to. That’s certainly interesting, but for me it’s equally fascinating to watch the very different strategies used by the other participants to stand as still as possible. You can see multiple military and civilian stances, and when watching in slow motion, you can see just how much, or how little, each participant sways back and forth.
A lot of people have used this and other videos of Trump to express their opinions about the man and his policies. And those opinions may well be valid. But for me the fascination lies in seeing the variety of ways we humans move and stand – how, in other words, we function when we’re on our feet, given the external forces like gravity and support that are always operating on us.
And then there are the fascinating, and telling, little moments of adjusting and re-adjusting as when, at about 4:00, Trump places his hands in front, removes them in an odd way, and then places them back in front.
But everybody – in this video and in ordinary life – has posture and movement patterns that speak loudly about themselves. If we fail to notice those patterns in ourselves, we run the risk of “speaking” in a way that impedes our progress through life.
We also run the risk of of creating dis-functional tension patterns that can cause movement limitations and pain. Learning how to really see what others do can be a useful first step in identifying our own habits.
And that, in turn, can encourage us to learn how to stop doing the habits that are harmful, so that what we “say” to others, and what do to ourselves, makes our lives easier.