Former president Barak Obama is an ardent believer in the power of traveling to broaden a person´s view of the world. Talking with the CEO of Hilton, Christopher Nassetta, Obama praised travel’s ability to remind people of the value of diversity amid growing xenophobia and nationalism. “I believe in bringing people together instead of separating them. If we try to reassert hard, fixed borders at a time when technology and information are border less, not only will we fail but will see greater conflict and clashes between peoples.” I could not agree more.
I just traveled by train from my home in Vancouver to San Diego and from the train I could see how items in the landscape were covered by both Spanish and English graffiti, and that the names of restaurants, streets and shops were a mixture of Spanish and English; sometimes I was not sure where I was. However, nothing prepared me to how bilingual San Diego has become. I do not think that this is evident to the people who live there, but to a “foreigner” like me, it was a real eye-opener.
After I heard my mother tongue, Spanish, so much; I could not stop thinking about the story below that I used to love as a child. It is a story from one of the most important Catholic theologists Saint Agustin.
As he was walking along the beach, he saw something a bit odd and he stopped to take a look. A boy was running back and forth from the ocean to a spot on the beach, carrying water in a seashell, and dropping the water in a little hole in the sand not too far off.
“My boy,” said St. Augustine. “What are you doing?”
“I am trying to put all of the sea into this hole!” the boy said with a big smile.
St. Augustine looked at the hole, which was tiny, and said, “But that is impossible, my dear child. The hole cannot contain all that water. It is too small.”
“It is no more impossible than what you are trying to do!”
To stop the natural migration or trying to silence a language is like trying to put all the sea in a hole. We cannot silence the natural movement of mankind. It is just not possible.…
California is becoming more and Spanish as the days go by, while Vancouver is becoming more and more Asian – and we cannot stop that change … so we need to embrace diversity because in life everything changes or it goes extinct.