In our everyday lives, we use words in some way, shape, or form, whether that is speaking, reading, or writing. However, these words have comprised the 7,000 languages spoken worldwide (Shashkevich), each with its own unique dialect, accent, or set of gestures. Language exists as both verbal and nonverbal, demonstrating that it consists of two parts: what we see while someone speaks or gestures and the content that is being communicated to us. The power of languages used worldwide connects people emotionally from all backgrounds when we narrate our personal experiences to each other, allowing us to empathize and demonstrate vulnerability.
Language has the capability of animating our experiences, strengthening the bond with whomever we convey our stories to as the impact of our words registers in their minds and hearts. Without language as an expression of how we feel, we will never be able to understand one another on a deeper level. It is a popular belief that actions speak louder than words, but words have a particular strength of their own. Their moving power of allowing us to “share our intimacy” (“The Importance and Power of Language”) demonstrates their influential capacity, a force that breaks barriers and exposes our feelings. While listening to the experiences of others who speak different languages, the inspiring significance of language as a way of learning “what it means to be human” (Shashkevich) reveals its importance of understanding our own selves, which then acts as a foundation for understanding one another and intensifying the connections we form. Language not only makes information accessible, but also allows access to our emotions, motivating us to acquire newfound understanding of the values of one another.
The diversity of languages across the globe provides varying methods of ways in which we perceive ourselves, others, and our world. Language prompts vulnerability and harbors both empathy and intimacy. Words have the power to influence, and the more languages you know, the more people you are able to connect with and move with your dialect. Through language, we immerse ourselves in the cultures, backgrounds, and emotions of those we communicate with, aiding in our identification with the experiences we learn about from others.
Shashkevich, Alex. “The Power of Language: How Words Shape People, Culture.” Stanford News, Stanford University, 27 August 2019, https://news.stanford.edu/2019/08/22/the-power-of-language-how-words-shape-people-culture/. Accessed 12 November 2020.
“The Importance and Power of Language.” Serendip Studio, 13 May 2014, https://serendipstudio.org/exchange/eco-literacy-2014/jessica-bernal/importance-and-power-language. Accessed 12 November 2020.Tags: Empathy language vulnerability