Language Barriers.

Sometimes courage is not slowing down long enough for fear to catch you.

And sometime courage is staying still long enough for peace to catch up with you.

But I’d say the first one is my motto today. I woke up feeling achy, but upon getting up I felt better, and I’ve learned that my stress symptoms increase when I’m inactive. Inactivity can be just as hard o your body as hyperactivity.

So with that in mind, I want to switch subjects.

Some of you who’ve been reading my college posts know that I’m studying Language. Specifically English and ASL. (Guess which is harder.)

A few of my older followers probably remember that I went on a mission trip two years ago (almost three) to Cambodia, and there I learned a bit of Khmer.

Khmer (pronounced Ka-mai) is not an easy language to learn by rote. You have to hear it, and in my opinion you have to hear it spoken in real settings. My attempts to learn more of it since haven’t panned out well. I need a tutor I bet.

My ASL teacher wanted us to journal on a movie we watched in class about. Audism is a new term, probably not i most dictionaries, that refers to discrimination based on one’s ability to hear.

It’s a real thing. But it seems to bother people the most when their own families won’t include them in conversation by interpreting for them.

Welcome to my world, I would say. I’ve been frustrated many times over the years by being left out of conversations. I wish I could blame it on being deaf but all I can attribute it to is being young and not having common ground.

I guess being deaf makes it hard to have common ground and that’s the sting. Even if they did, they can’t talk about it.

But the problem between people of different languages isn’t really lack of knowledge. It’s a lack of heart.

Very profound things can be communicated between people who speak different languages. We’ve heard that love doesn’t need a language. It’s true. In Cambodia, the people were very welcoming and nice to us even though we couldn’t understand more than a few things they said. We didn’t need to to understand good will.

I’d venture to say the trouble between different groups of people isn’t about language or skin color, it’s about suspicion.

Remember when I talked about strangers? How we wish we could connect with them?

Oftentimes we build walls around ourselves so that we won’t have to deal with strangers as people. The don’t challenge us, we don’t feel guilty.

And that’s the real reason behind slavery I think. Slavery has happened many times between people of the same race by the way, just different divisions. Sometimes it’s not even between tribes, it can be between classes. They don’t talk about that when they teach kids that America is evil for having slaves.

Yes it was evil a lot of the time, but America is not the exception in any way except that it fought a war over it. You look far back enough into almost nay country and you’ll fine slavery. Often not between different races.

We don’t have to look different to make strangers of each other.

We don’t have to look the same to believe we’re kindred.

To be open to new and different ways is to be open to life. Life is constantly changing. People who recognize this are more likely to accept each other, I think. There is n o point in trying to live in a certain time while the rest of the world moves on.

And coming from a home-schooler raised to believe that the old ways are better, that’s a big concession.

I believe they are better. They were healthier, more in line with natural law. But I don’t believe you change the world by staying in the past. The world won’t stay with you. Solutions always lie ahead of us.

True brotherhood between nations always begins, and always will, with the laying aside of suspicions. The willingness to see each other as part of the same family. Just different looking and different sounding. (Heck some of us have that in our immediate family. I’m not exactly like anyone else in mine, my sister even observed that it’s hard to place who I look like.)

Suspicion is the killer of phileo love (friendship/brotherly love.)  You remember that part of Pocahontas? “They’re different form us, therefore they an’t be trusted.” But what led to that? Immediate suspicion.

You know, both the Native Americans and the White men were already determined to think that their ways were the only way and that they had nothing to learn from anyone else. Both of them. Is it any wonder that they were immediately suspicious of each other? While Pocahontas both in the true history and in the movie represented those of us who think we have something to learn from each other.

I will never be convinced that my religion is not the correct one, but what I like about mine is that it allows me to recognize wisdom in other cultures. There is no culture without it’s own revelation of God that it understand better then others.

Americans understand freedom, for example. Jews understand holiness. I think many Asian cultures understand the flow of the spiritual into art and lifestyle better then we do. I think the Native Americans understood a lot about the way God speaks through nature.

The list goes on.

And that’s not exclusive of course. It’s just a sample.

Language is a gap between people, but in God’s mysterious ways, He was made it one of the most powerful ways to bridge the gap between people, if we approach it humbly and with love and patience.


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