SABBATICAL NOTES. 23 JULY 2014. WEDNESDAY. N2.
Lessons for those advocating a 'national language' at the expense of diversity and other languages of a diverse nation: 'It's a beautiful day and I cannot see it!'
THIS VIDEO LEFT ME thinking hard about the conditions of our national polity and its insistence on one and only one way of seeing the beautiful day revealed to the various nations of the Philippines.
It is about a man, speaking in a language I cannot decipher, but suggesting that he is blind, and thus, unable to even write, 'Hey, I am blind, would you care to drop a penny, please, to make me survive?'
And one cardboard--did he write this?--says: 'I am blind, please help.'
No one cared.
True, there is that univocal, pauper's language, declaring his unenviable condition of blindness.
True, he sat on those cardboard boxes, using them as his carpet in his quest for a dime or a cent of a quarter.
True, the cardboard boxes indicate his condition and the cardboard life he has, one cardboard ever-ready to shield him from the sun, or rain, or snow when the days becomes less kinder.
And then a lady comes around, writes this line and the world of the blind man changed drastically for the better, with more and more pennies being dropped by passers-by.
'It's a beautiful day and I cannot see it!' says the writing on the cardboard.
Did that lady know that language (1) reveals the world for all those who want to see and understand, and (2) solves the problems of mankind, and peoples, and societies, and communities?
When one imposes a fascistic national language, one imposes as true, good, and beautiful the condition of blindness, and not knowing how to re-articulate that existential condition results in the apathy of passers-by.
But when one knows how to frame, in epistemically new form as mediated by language our terrible human condition, something could come off miraculously, and people begin to see things different.
Indeed, we need a new language to see world.
Indeed, we need a different language to understand better.
Indeed, a homogenized life in a country that is as diverse as the colors of the rainbow is the worst act we commit against a people seeking freedom, meaning, sense, relevance, and the good life.