Probably the most wonderful gift the human species has ever bestowed upon itself is the gift of language. Both written and spoken. Language has transformed the human species from a large and somewhat bright ape to a civilization building behemoth. Words gave us the ability to pass on what we had learned. Allowing our children and our children’s children to learn from our mistakes. It has ushered in new eras for the species, allowing us to go from the stone to the bronze to the information age.
Language has allowed people to laugh. Brought true love across the ages. Helped bring that cathartic experience you need to allow the tears to come and the wounds to heal. Shakespeare has illuminated the human soul. He has brought us the depths of love with Romeo and Juliet, the warnings of history with Richard the III, and the joy of laughter with Loves Labors Lost.
Language has allowed people to dream. Shinned a light on the great mysteries of the universe. Pulled the curtain aside to allow the light of truth to be seen. Sartre and Descartes have debated the existence of man. Hawking and Einstein transformed and argued the nature of the very fabric of space and time.
Language has allowed people to hope. Pushing back the veil of fear of the unknown and unknowable. Mosses brought us the word and the laws of God to lead our lives. Jesus told us a tale of love and everlasting sharing. Mohammed brought a sense of order and purpose to life. Buddha has helped us to contemplate not the comforts of the material world but that of the soul.
Unfortunately, the greatest evil that we can do is through the misuse of language. The twisting of facts to fit our own agendas, the coercion of the innocent and the not so innocent to acts of hate and fear. And worst of all, allowing acts of malice and wickedness to be committed when a single word could have stopped it.