The buddha said, “Don’t believe anything second hand.”
And I couldn’t agree more. Don’t believe anything because its written in ink in an ancient book. Don’t believe anything because everyone knows it’s true. Don’t believe anything because of habit. Don’t believe anything arising in your own mind mistaking your imagination for truth. Don’t believe anything on the authority of your guru, priest, or rabbi. What you yourself intuit is true, what you experience and see for yourself, what is helpful to you and others, in this alone believe. This is your light and this is the best knowledge you can access.
I highly encourage you to go out there and have experiences. Get on a plane, explore a new country, make new friends, take a class, learn a new language, whatever excites you and makes you come alive, go out and do it.
Last year I embarked on learning Italian. I was already bi-lingual at the time so I knew my mind could grasp another language, but it hasn’t been easy, and still isn’t. What I love about languages is that languages create meaning about what life is all about. There are some languages that are simply better at some tasks then others. I’ve heard for example that German is great for discussing philosophy, but not so good, or at least not as good as Italian or French when it comes to expressing love. It doesn’t mean that one language is right and the other is wrong, it just means that different languages have different strengths. There are just some things you can say in one language that you can’t quite say in another language. And there are some things that you can just say more effectively in one language over another. But in no way, does that mean we want to limit ourselves to one language. In fact, the more fluent you are in a variety of languages the more nuanced your understanding of life is, the more capable you are of making meaning. Learn as many languages as you can and use them all.
These days I find myself fluidly moving between the languages at my disposal. It may drive my loved ones a little crazy, but I find that I am better able to express myself and have a better understanding of the world around me when I use all the crayons available in the box.
And maybe, just maybe, if we learn each others languages we can better understand each other and this will bring humanity one step closer to living in harmony. Just a thought.