The world is an open place we can serve… When you open the door to a bigger place… And we do that through language, we do that through culture. And we do that through just exposing someone to a new experience. You just don’t ever know where that’s going to go and how many other lives will be impacted because we took that step. Languages are so much more than grammar and vocabulary.
– Linda Egnatz
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Well, here we are in 2022, and this is the first podcast of the new year, in the month named after the two-faced god that looked both backwards and forwards. So we’re going to do that, with Retrospective 2 that touches on some of the themes of last year, complements Retrospective 1 (Episode 49) from October, and looks forward now to 2022.
In 2022, we’re going to be taking a look at language in three kinds of directions. Language in life: Language as we are living it every day – learning, teaching, traveling, making friends, connecting to organizations. Language in business: the role of language in attracting, retaining, encouraging, and engaging employees, language connecting to customers, clients, and opportunities. Language as fun: the uniquely human game that we play as well as a tool that we use.
How do we forge common bonds through language when stress pressures us to splinter into tribes? What are the invitations to the global future that can bring cooperation across languages and cultures that can ensure we find solutions to global challenges together (the only way we can)?
How can we all come to understand and trust language as the unique tool for connecting youth to the reality of the world and for connecting diverse communities to each other, to both celebrate their unique cultural expression and welcome that of others?
Where do we find the paths of both respect and urgency to connect knowing how language and cultural understanding can work in the healing of families, communities, nations, and the environment, and opening paths of justice?
And how do we do all this quickly, multiplying our individual understanding and skills quickly to deal with the urgencies of the times? And how, in the words of Art Buchwald, do we “learn to laugh again” in the midst of medical and environmental pandemics?
Language is the tool humans have been given to do this.
Language for life. Language in work. Language for fun. Let’s make sure all find their voice and their unique gifts, and the opportunity to apply them through their language and their culture. We can do this.
Would you like to listen to the full episodes referenced in this retrospective? Click on the links below for each episode:
- Linda Markley (Episode 2)
- Linda Egnatz (Episode 7)
- LJ Randolph (Episode 15)
- Lisa Fore (Episode 18)
- Sheri Spaine-Long (Episode 19)
- Akash Patel (Episode 21)
Enjoy the podcast.
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Thank you for always focusing on the possibilities, opportunities and the power of language and what it can do for us individually - and collectively!
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Want to hear more? Access previous episodes, and get to know the wonderful people I talk with through the It’s About Language page, or by clicking on the Podcast tab above. You can also find this week’s episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.
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