Through learning language, we learn about culture. Through learning about culture, we learn respect for others. Through learning respect for others, we can hope for peace.
Do you think it’s possible that learning another language and gaining respect for others’ cultures can promote peace in the world?
It seems like such a grand undertaking: complete peace in the world. How about we look at it on a smaller scale; do you think that gaining respect and understanding for your neighbor who speaks another language can promote peace and harmony on your block, in your neighborhood or in your city? JFK said: “One person can make a difference and every person should try.”
Do you think if each one of us made an effort to connect with our neighbors next store or across the globe, this could contribute to peace in the world? I do. It’s one of the most powerful driving forces behind each day that I go to work. I firmly believe that by helping people to connect through language and culture our company can help promote peace in the world.
It starts at the local grocery store when someone helps out another person struggling with their second language and they both smile at each other. Maybe it’s a cheerful hello in the other person’s first language that gives them the feeling that you really care about who they are. At work we can help out a fellow co-worker who doesn’t understand directions in their first language or a customer who is hesitant to speak in their second. These small connections that happen every day can lead to a grander sense of unity among us all.
I believe if we can get passed the fears people have about learning languages, languages “taking over” the culture or the fears of “losing our language”, we can focus on the people behind the language. The important thing to remember is that in the overall picture, we all have the same hopes and dreams, desire to be safe, warm and fed, to love and to be loved regardless of what language we speak. By speaking in a second language you are connecting with another human being (who is really very much like you), that’s all.
It’s not complicated. It’s not scary. It’s just talking; just talking to your fellow man (or woman). Let’s put all of the fears and excuses aside and just talk to each other. You can start at home by learning a few key phrases in another language (try KAMMS’ programs) and speak with a neighbor in their language. You could learn about customs in other cultures or how people live in another country. Not only will you learn a lot about others, you’ll also learn a lot about yourself in the process.
Let’s start promoting peace, one person at a time, by understanding each others’ language and culture and connecting with each other. Yes, complete peace in the world is a grand undertaking, but we can all do our part. It can start with you today.
“The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were.” JFK
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