Lost Words of Peace

The grief and hunger for a lost language are so much bigger than I thought when I first began to explore this. (and, man, reading stuff like this makes me wish that I’d had a much better adviser in college.) I feel as if I’ve stumbled into something much bigger and truer than I suspected… something has profound implications for Peace and something that helps me understand how much more complex Peace is even when it’s also simple.

The article I read by Joshua Fishman “What Do You Lose When You Lose Your Language?” takes an anthropological view. Now I wonder about the psycho-spiritual views.

I was a language major in college. I majored in language because I learned languages easy, not because I was interested in literature. (Not that I’m sorry I read (past tense) well! There’s so much more reading I should do!) But anthro or religion and linguistics might have been a much better fit. If only they taught those things where I was  — or I’d have known they existed!

We’ve all read about “civilizing” invaders who eradicate language and custom in the native born. Most of us live in a country where we’ve seen it. It’s happening today all over the world. And the results are hugely disabling. I’m not talking about language that evolves, although things are lost for what’s gained in them as well, I’m talking about the erasure of Native languages by conquerors.

So we come back to hard questions… What is it in humans that creates such fear that we feel a need to stamp out another’s world view completely, to eradicate culture? We’re certainly seeing that in some of the political campaigning. And then how do we create Peace out of all those forsaken Peace words? How do we help people find them again and help ourselves come closer to Peace… I wish I knew. But I suspect there are many seeds to Peace in that which has been lost — especially violently… What are the possibilities? What is the work? Where is that Peace?


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