Connection Beyond Words

What would you do if your soulmate was halfway across the globe and spoke a totally different language that you didn’t understand? Would you try to make things work and go through the daunting task of learning a new dialect , or just stop yourself before the heartbreak? I have heard of and even seen a few couples that didn’t grow up with the same mother tongue but were able to break through the barrier of translation with the power of attraction and romance. I never could understand this, but something at work helped me realize the reasons for this phenomenon.

Pocahontas and John Smith were from different worlds, but that didn't stop them from loving each other. (credit: Wikipedia)

Pocahontas and John Smith were from different worlds, but that didn’t stop them from loving each other. (credit: Wikipedia)

At my job, the company hosts a lot of foreign workers. While they might understand English, I feel like the nerves of speaking in a new tongue can get their words mixed up. I give them credit though, I can barely say “Como Estas?” after nine years of Spanish.

A middle-aged woman from Japan came up to my work station and started being very friendly. She spoke English very well, but I could tell she was afraid to say the wrong thing.Β After asking for help, she continued small talk by questioning me about the upcoming holiday of Memorial Day. She knew what the holiday was celebrated for, but she couldn’t find the right words to convey it. While she struggled to translate in her head what she wanted to come out of her mouth, something occurred to me. I could understand actually what she was trying to convey just by her actions and facial gestures. It might have helped that she added some decent, broken English but I felt it was more than just that. I felt like I was connected to her on a humanly level.

I finally could see how people from different areas of the world were able to form a relationship with opposite cultures and languages forming barriers. As human beings, we are all connected to each other. It might not seem like it at times, but we can find commonality in one another. This has happened to me one other time in work.

At my previous job, I around a lot of co-workers from South America. There English wasn’t that great and my Spanish was atrocious. I still can’t understand how I managed to pass nine years in my foreign language course. It was strange that I found myself hanging out with them more at work than the people that actually spoke English. It didn’t matter that we had difficult comprehending one another at some points because we were able to understand each other and form close relationships. They were some of the nicest and most enjoyable people to be around in my whole life.

I have never seen this, but I think it touches on what I'm talking about (credit: Wikipedia).

I have never seen this, but I think it touches on what I’m talking about (credit: Wikipedia).

I think that people shouldn’t be separated in this world by their sex, religion, cultural background, or even language. We are all human beings at the end of the day and we share a deep connection to one another. While it may be difficult to understand why one person goes this way and the other one goes that way, we can all learn and grow by sharing experiences with different, diverse people. You never know, the person you feel like you are completely opposite to could turn out to be the one you care the most about in the end.

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28 Responses to Connection Beyond Words

  1. Margaux N. says:

    My mom is Ukranian while my dad is Lebanese; when they met my dad barely spoke russian and after they married my mom struggled with the arabic language for years, and still kinda does. Though they are now divorced, I do agree that love knows no languagae barrier. What we say is only 30% words the rest is body languagae 60% and tone 10%

    • I find it so amazing how deep the human connection can be. I am sorry to hear about your parents, but it is incredible to hear that their difference in languages didn’t stop them from being together. I agree with you a hundred percent that we express ourselves more with our body language than actual words. It is like reading in between the lines of a book. Thank you for reading and I’m glad you enjoyed your Cup of Joe πŸ™‚

  2. My mother was born in the United States but was raised in a purely Lithuanian family. Her accent was crazy so the primary schools would try to have her do to dictation class. Now that she’s in her fifties she still has the accent mixed with the usual New England drawl. Even though my accent is strong, I still sound a little bit like a mesh of Dracula and the average Bostonian. I think the best connections I’ve had are with people who I don’t need to be talking constantly with. We can kind of look at each other and just…know.

    Thanks again for another great post.

    • Thanks for reading and commenting. I agree that the closet people I know are the ones who can just pick up on my mood from looking at me, and I could tell how what they were thinking by their actions. That’s what made us so close is that we didn’t need words to express how we felt, we were just connected. And accents are awesome, I bet people love hearing you and your mom talk πŸ™‚

  3. Heather says:

    I think your title says it all…we connect or even disconnect with people with our body language and our eyes…words aren’t always that important!

  4. marta87wink says:

    Speech is silver, silence is gold and mutual understanding at spiritual level is priceless. Sometimes we can convey so much more by even by our most clumsy actions than by very eloquent and elaborate words. πŸ™‚

  5. Swept.Out.To.Sea says:

    One thing comes to mind when I read today’s post, and god to do I hate that the 12 years of Catholic school is playing into this comment but there used to be a song that the lyrics were “we are many parts, we are all one body and the gifts we have we were given to share”. This is so true we all have different things to offer to situations, relationships, etc. I think the more that we can learn about one another the better off our future will be. I find myself so fascinated by other cultures and how like you said we almost can all connect through body gestures and feeling. Delicious cup of Joe today!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it so much πŸ™‚ I think by being around other cultures we learn to connect much deeper in relationships with others. It is an experience every person should open up to.

  6. This is great. There was a point where I lived in France and ended up dating a French man. He knew limited english and I knew limited french. Suffice to say that it was one of the best relationships I’ve ever had and now my french is better!

    • I’m glad to hear that someone who actually went through what I wrote commented. It must have been a great time and a powerful relationship. Thanks for stopping by and I’m glad you liked your Cup of Joe πŸ™‚

  7. I love this post! And it is so true! My brother actually was fortunate enough to meet a girl from the Philippines who he is currently engaged to. She speak very broken English, but that didn’t hold them back from falling in love with one another. Now she will be coming over the US in the next month or two to live here. It’s pretty wild to think how different cultures and languages don’t always create barriers, if we don’t let them. I think there takes a willingness to feel that connection though. Really good post!

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I’m so happy for your bother and I wish him the best of luck. It is great to hear that they didn’t let the stereotypical obstacles come in between their love. Very uplifting comment to read πŸ™‚

  8. Lidiya says:

    Great post, Joe!
    You’ve made good points. People’s hearts know no barriers.
    I’m Bulgarian and English is my second language, have been learning German for a few years and also speak Italian (It’s my favourite language, I also love the country, people and culture and was really determined to speak it fluently. I started it by myself and then took a course for second and third level of Italian. It was great.).
    As you see I love other cultures. I’m happy to speak with foreigners whenever I can (it usually happens in the summer resorts in my country) and am eager to learn everything they have to say.
    Not many people have realized what you did – we are all human beings and have an inner connection regardless of nation, sex, etc. That is why we should respect everyone, enjoy communicating and learn what we can from others.
    Have a great day and keep writing such posts πŸ™‚

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed and I really appreciate the kind words. It is amazing you are so cultured and can speak so many different languages. I can barely understand some people that are from America speaking English, let alone try another tongue. It is also wonderful to hear you enjoy life and embracing people from so many different places and backgrounds. We should all be more like you and just embrace people for who they are πŸ™‚

  9. Great post! In the end we’re all looking for the same thing to feel understood, supported, and be in the company of people we can trust no matter who we are, where we’re from or what language we speak. When two people are meant to be together there are no barriers, somehow they will find their way to each other —destiny!

    • Limitations like language and cultures shouldn’t separate us because we are all humans. We can all find commonality and share in life. There will always be connection deep down between the people that seem complete opposites. Thanks for commenting and glad you enjoyed your Cup of Joe πŸ™‚

  10. lsupit says:

    I like this post Joe. Agree to all points on your closing paragraph. Above the gazillion differences that people and cultures hold, we are all more similar than different: we’re human. It’s truly the most beautiful thing when people unite amidst the odds they have. And when we can share a connection with someone without the need of words exchanged, comfort in silence, that’s.. serene.

    Cheers for bringing up the topic Jo, well done.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed your Cup of Joe. The people we are most close to are the ones we can communicate with by not saying a word. And the bond of connection can be formed with anyone simply because we are all human.

  11. torivictoria says:

    Love overrides anything and has no barriers at all. In my coming up book “Waterfall of Agape Love” which out this summer, language barrier didn’t stop love. I also believe people should just be people and not let any barriers stop love.

  12. willowmarie says:

    makes me think of how, when something moves us deeply, we often say “I can’t find the words”, maybe we don’t need to.

  13. Here in Switzerland, we have 4 official languages (of which everyone speaks at least 2), and nearly everyone has had to learn English at one point in their life. I think this is one of the reasons we are known as being so democratic and neutral – we are used to the fact that people speak another language, yet we know that we share the same origin. I would love to say that this fact makes Swiss people open-minded and respectful as well, but it doesn’t. But being neutral is a start I guess πŸ˜‰
    Love your blog, keep up the good work!

    • Thanks for sharing and I’m glad you enjoyed. I think that is remarkable that most people from Switzerland learn so many different languages. I think more places should be like that. I hope I get to visit your country one day and see all the beauty and culture πŸ™‚

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