When I was growing up, I understood why my parents wanted us to keep our Spanish but also learn to speak proper English. It was important to be able to communicate with our family back in Mexico, to talk to other people from Spanish speaking countries, to never forget our history and culture and to understand that there is more than one way of doing things that are right. The fact that we knew early on what a big world we were a part of and not the center of the universe has helped my sisters and I appreciate every day we get to be a part of it and everybody we meet along the way. We embrace different cultures and people even if we may not agree with all that they believe, just as we know not everyone will understand what we grew up believing. And that is as it should be, in my eyes.
Sure, it’s hard to see where someone is coming from sometimes and even harder to be mocked for your own views. And I am not saying we are perfect, I for one am far from it. I know I have a short fuse sometimes, I know I can be overly sensitive more times than not, and I know that I can shut down in order to just not talk about things that I don’t want to talk about anymore. I know my flaws, and I am ok with them, as long as I am trying to better them a little at a time. And this blog will test me on all of these, I’m sure (I typed that part full of dread of what responses I will get…fingers shaking)
What does this have to do with being bilingual? I think that being bilingual or even multilingual makes us a little more open to the world because we realize how much more there is out there. It’s not just about language; it’s about our lives and the lives of all others all being connected in some way. It’s just a matter of always trying to communicate with each other, with or without words. And that is how I see it through my bilingualeyes.