Day 59: Open up a window

Kindreds come in all shapes and sizes…and in different languages. In my home, more than half the inhabitants were born in Brazil, and I find it interesting that we can switch back and forth between English and Portuguese and still like each other. We laugh at corny jokes in both languages, and slip-slide between the cultures. When we get stuck on a word in one language, we switch languages and keep on going. It’s a weird phenomena. We sort of speak our own version of both languages.

I’m the weakest link. My Portuguese slips more than it slides, and yet I marvel at how much speaking a second language, even poorly, gives me freedom to understand so much in this world. I can walk through a store and hear people speaking Spanish and understand their general topic. I can listen to a song in Italian and pick out many words. I can read a text in French and get a sense of the story. But more than just understanding words, speaking another language opens up a window to know that, no matter the language, people are so much the same all over the world. Children chase one another, laughing at their games; fathers cry at the moment of walking their daughters down the aisle; and women gather over cool drinks and share the latest news.

Tonight on Facebook, a friend posted a photo of two eggs, one white and one brown. The tagline was, “A Lesson in Diversity.” When cracked, the eggs inside looked the same. Sometimes there may be a rotten egg, but, if you’re looking for a kindred, start first with the inside, because you’re likely to find someone similar to you despite the outside appearance or the language that’s spoken. It’s a good lesson for us all.

DAY 59 HOMEWORK: Who is it that you may have discounted just because of something you noticed on the outside? Who did you turn away from just because you didn’t think they’d understand you? Think for a moment of that person as a child, or on their wedding day, when a parent may have cried over them. See if that changes your perspective in any way.

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