I sat in my office at work and I heard it…
Questions pertaining to language and its purpose have echoed in my mind over and over again as I observe the human race from my sphere of contact; through the lens of my eyes, the passage of my mind and the power of my reasoning. Unfortunately, these thoughts were only comfortable floating in my subconscious until the day I was bent over my computer working my ass off and got distracted by a woman scolding her child. It was not her raised voice that took my attention off work; neither was it because the child was whimpering and probably shaking in fear as is the norm; it was the venom in her voice that startled me out of concentration and made me listen enough to push some of my existing thoughts out of my subconscious into writing.
I sat in my office which happened to be located in a residential area; when I heard her reprimand her child for not joining a particular cultural group at school. The daughter had replied that she was unable to join her mum’s preferred choice because there were too many people in that group, so the school had advised that she join another cultural group. Despite this explanation, the mother wasn’t still satisfied nor happy because she kept on murmuring and complaining bitterly.
This is just one of the countless examples of how people treat other languages and cultures with disdain. The first thing that came to mind after I overheard this conversation between mother and child was “What has your language done for you? as this particular woman at that time was living in a house that smelled of disgust and poverty. I wonder if their economy situation would have change for the better if her daughter had chosen to join her preferred cultural group.
I intended to speak mainly about language as the title of this article depicts; but as I wrote this article I decided that addressing the issue from the root cause might just be better and we might need to ask ourselves certain questions. such as
- Did I choose the planet I found myself in?
- Did I decide what family I wanted to come in?
- Did I choose my skin colour ,tribe and language?
- Wasn’t it until I got to planet Earth that I was told the name of the planet?
The problem with we human is the mirage feeling that we have a choice and our intense need to be in total control of things. Let’s face reality, if we did not choose our gender, planet, continent, country, region, tribe, color, home and family then we are not even close to being in control because this decisions made by someone greater than us not only affect the type of life we live, it also affects the core of our being and who we are . So tell me why we should look at other languages,tribe,culture etc that is different from ours with contempt,disrespect or contempt?….We could have been that person with the other language, wearing that type of dress and eating that type of food.
I guess we all like to see our glasses as half empty instead of just plain empty. It is the reason why there’s racial discrimination as if anyone chose their skin color, it is still for this same reason that we kill ourselves because of greed as if we brought anything to this world, It is also why the term ‘gender inequality’ and ‘gender discrimination’ exist; as if we were not all conceived the same way or did you choose your gender or win a superiority contest before landing on planet earth?
I am almost certain that because of ethnic discrimination, most countries in Africa are making little or no progress despite having gotten independence from whoever colonized them. It’s appalling to hear that the president of a country is elected because he is of a certain tribe and when the so called president gets into power he favors only the people of his tribe. Some people are unable to get married to other people of certain tribe despite having the same skin colour or coming from the same country because their parent won’t support them.Is it the bad look that you get because you cannot speak your language? (I get that look all the time). Tell me what your Language has done for you and maybe I will learn it. Will your language prevent death and cure terminal disease? Will your language make the money in my bank account exponentiate? Will it give me peace in my heart?
Don’t you see that life will be boring if we were all the same?. God knew this and that’s why he created diversities. So please let’s appreciate and accommodate our differences. Don’t come here with an attitude because these other people don’t look like you,talk like you or act like you. Learn a language if you want to, but while you’re at it don’t give an attitude to anyone whom you think should learn the same language isn’t willing to.
N:B: If you’re uncomfortable with all I have said, remember there are eight other planets apart from Planet Earth.