Based on my post last week, I’ve been thinking of all the things I have done, do, and would like to do, and how they are rooted in the “why” that I laid out.
My inner circle, my “why” was this:
I believe that we all should put ourselves out there to love. More specifically, we need to sacrifice for one another, especially for those in need.
Let me elaborate. All my language activities now and in the future emerge from this single principle. I think you’ll love languages even more than you do if you read more.
I want a world where we all become willing to sacrifice to love those around us, especially those weaker than us.
I believe in a world where we depend on others—and more importantly, can be depended on—for help. Each of us not only lives together, but works hard for the wisdom that leads to mutual trust. All work hard to get more, and as they get more, they give more away to those without. They give not out of obligation, fear, or guilt, but out of love. As Sebastian Junger writes:
We have a strong instinct to belong to small groups defined by clear purpose and understanding—“tribes.” This tribal connection has been largely lost in modern society, but regaining it may be the key to our psychological survival.
Do you share my vision?
- Want a better humanity?
- Have an eye for those less privileged?
- Want to give more?
- Want to experience more connection in your community?
Actually, let me rephrase that.
Love languages! Fall in love with them. Spend time with them. Savor them in your mouth. Feel them in your ears. Anticipate their embrace when you go to the store, to work, to school, to the coffee shop.
Love languages! Don’t dread them or let them make you feel inadequate. Figure out ways to put them in your head. Listen for the people speaking other languages and talk to them. Learning a language starts in a few easy steps:
- “Sorry to interrupt. Would you mind telling me what language you’re speaking?
- “How do you say ‘Hello’ in your language?”
- (Say what you just learned.) “Did I just say it right?”
You did it. You started learning another language. You connected with someone in a unique way, speaking to that person’s heart in the language of their family and loved ones.
You took the first step on a long journey. Ahead of you still lie foreign sounds to make, words to memorize, grammar to grasp, even humiliations to endure. But you will love it. True love takes work, but the loyalty and connection you make with your partner will fulfill you in ways that your soul craves.
All the education, free time, and intelligence that you are blessed with can thus be used to connect with those who do not have what you do. You will make the sacrifice for the better humanity that you want, starting with yourself, and with an eye for those who are marginalized in our society. The connections and friendships you will make as a result will expand your mind, your community, your world.
If you get discouraged, please come back here. I blog twice a week about the reasons, means, and goals for loving language. You might watch one of my videos, too, about the big picture—why learn languages—or the small picture—how to pronounce your vowels right. If you’re lucky, you might catch one of my public talks. In the past, I’ve presented to international NGO workers, language educators, polyglots, and diversity and inclusion experts.