I n one form or another most of us do it almost every minute of our waking hours.
Whether we are texting, tweeting, Facebooking, e-mailing, chatting on our phones, or even, and we realise this is a little unfashionable these days, having a face-to-face conversation: what most of us do is communicate.
Now imagine a world without all of the above.
As much as you might wish for the occasional period of silence from your children or grandchildren, think what it would be like without their incessant and often incomprehensible chatter.
Try to figure out how you would survive if you lived alone, hardly ever got out and had only the radio or television for company.
Grim prospect isn’t it?
As we launch our annual Christmas campaign today one statistic jumps from the page: that more one million older people say they go for more than a month without speaking to a friend, neighbour or family member.
Take a minute to put yourself in their isolated position... now do something about it.
Yes, your life might be brimful. Your diary might be crammed, but all we are asking is that you pledge to give up two hours a week in the new year to someone who is desperate simply to see a friendly face.
Is it really too much to ask?
The rewards, in human terms, can be huge. They might not think so, but most older people have led fascinating lives. Getting to know one of them and learning their life story can be enormously gratifying and often educational.
So, if you make only one new year’s resolution, let it be a promise to shine some light into a lonely person’s existence.
Go on, make their 2016. Because one day, in this great lottery called life – it could be you.