The Power of Language

Bonnie - Wichita, Kansas
Entered on March 3, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

There are many things I believe in this world and many things I do not believe in, the trouble lies in determining what I strongly and passionately believe in. Humans can believe many trivial things; I believe I have homework due today, I believe I need to eat breakfast to start off my day, and I believe autumn is better than winter. However necessary these beliefs are to the functions of my daily (and also seasonal) life, these beliefs are irrelevant in the broader spectrum of my beliefs. A true, respectable, relevant belief consists of something I would argue endlessly about, something I would base other beliefs upon, something I could use to better myself. With these qualifications and rules in mind, one belief sticks out above the others; I believe in the study of language.

Perhaps my belief may not appear as awe-inspiring or world-changing as the rules implied; learning where to place a comma or how to conjugate a verb may seem inconsequential but consider this; how would I be able to even communicate my intrinsic ideas, the words of this essay, the thoughts and ideals on television and the radio without this belief of mine? This belief goes way beyond the trite and, albeit, amusing realm of television; this belief pertains to a world inundated with grammar problems, low test scores and wavering interest in literature. I believe that everyone should revere language as an ally, something to be respected and something to be used to benefit oneself and others and something that can assist in evaluating ourselves, our culture and our society. Understanding your own language leads to an understanding of yourself and can lead to an understanding of others. Moreover, studying another language besides your native tongue reaps immeasurable benefits. This study contributes to comprehension of other cultures and societies and could help to mollify tension between people, groups and even countries. Maybe I am being idealistic, but I do believe that a respect for language instilled at an early age can lead to a greater range of respect and empathy. After all, language arguably exemplifies the social ties that hold people together. The study of language leads to sympathy, compassion and even self-respect; all traits that people venerate and admire within themselves and others.

This I believe; language should be seen not as a hindrance but as a connection. The study of language is of the utmost importance to children and adults alike. I believe language continually and endlessly benefits people. The study of language is a lifelong commitment that everyone would do well to stick with.