I ran into a bit of an issue writing this post, which I'm sure you'll find is the ONLY recurring theme across all my posts. It's within good reason, though. I think.
What would you say if someone asked you, "If you had one wish and you had to make it right now, what would you wish for?", what would you say?
It would be pretty easy to say that you'd wish for world peace. Or maybe the elimination of all diseases and sicknesses. Maybe if you worded it correctly, you could get both with a really well-spoken run-on sentence. Who's counting, anyway?
So for a while, I thought about writing about how I wanted world peace, or at least something along those lines. Wouldn't it be great? Imagine if everyone in the world was at peace with each other. Imagine the things we could get done! Social effects aside, I'm sure it'd do wonders for science and technology. Or what if I wished for the elimination of disease and sickness? Other than rendering many medical researchers obsolete, wouldn't that be amazing? No one would ever have to suffer from cancer ever again.
But, in the spirit of honesty, I did a complete 180 and said, "Screw it, I have one wish. I'mma use it for me." As it turns out, I'm a pretty selfish person. On the other hand, I realized a post about being selfless with our resources would be kind of boring to read and not really be what I wanted.
Because at the end of the day, a wish is about a want, a desire. So let's just get down to it.
If I had a single wish and I had to use it at this very moment, I would wish for the ability to understand and speak all languages, past and present (and future, if that happens). Now THAT would be amazing.
"But Brian, if you're going to choose an ability, why wouldn't you choose a superpower? Teleportation, super strength, laser eyes, etc.?" you might be wondering now. Or not. Just pretend you are if you aren't.
Well, as cool as superpowers would be, I honestly don't see much utility in them in a world where I would be the only person with said superpowers. It would create more trouble than it's worth. Now, if there were other people with powers, I would definitely consider choosing a superpower. But I digress.
One of the clichés about art, whether it's painting, music, theater, or any other facet, is that it is a universal language. You may not understand mandarin, but you might be able to understand the general concept or feeling of a Chinese song, even if you don't know what the lyrics are saying. (Beijing Opera might be a little bit of a stretch, but again, I digress.) For me, having gotten into typography in the last year and a half, I find myself really "getting" or understanding works done in different languages. I can't read Arabic, but I can honestly say that it is a beautiful written language. Another example, I am shamelessly into Korean pop and hip-hop, even though I understand very little (read: none) of what the artists are saying. But the music and dances draw me in. They're universal languages because anybody anywhere can experience it much the same way we experience speaking to each other. We can all hear the same thing, but interpret it differently.
If art is already a universal language, perhaps I'm being a little greedy for having every language be a universal language to me. But for me, the kicker is the propensity for communication literally anywhere. I love the idea of being able to talk to anybody anywhere in the way they are most comfortable. Sometimes, the language barrier between two people can be a bit of a hassle. As I'm writing this, I'm also thinking of the implications for ministry with this ability. I've come across the opportunity to share my faith with people a lot, and for someone who already stumbles over explaining things in English, I can only imagine how tough it would be for someone to listen to me trying to explain things with words I don't have AND not have English be their first language. That was a long sentence. Sorry.
Another facet of this wonderful ability is that I think I would fall in love with typography that much more. Right now, I'm pretty limited to English and whatever Google Translate says is right. The possibilities would increase so much that I would absolutely love discovering the different ways written languages work in their nuances. Actually, just thinking about it is making me want to start learning languages again.
When it comes down to it, the crux of this wish is the ability to communicate with everyone. Language, in all its forms, I think forms the basis of not only communication, but culture, as well. It would be a beautiful thing to understand not only what people are saying, but the meaning behind it and how different cultures and societies think collectively.
It would make travelling that much easier, too.
So that's it. Turns out I really liked writing about this. Nothing deep here to read.
I'm all out of wishes, so hoping everyone a happy holiday season! Deal with it.