Recently there was a tragic accident of a bus crashing in Phoenix Arizona the headline read: “Paramedics hail 4th-graders’ heroism in the deadly bus crash” by Meredith Kolodner DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER Monday, March 8th, 2010, 4:00 AM
Oscar Rodriguez, 11, lay on an ambulance stretcher with three broken ribs and translated between English-speaking rescue workers and Spanish-speaking bus riders after a predawn crash Friday killed six people and injured more than a dozen others in Arizona. A friend who has survived the recent Chilean earthquake writes about some unfortunate facts about lack of communication and miscommunication to understand the coming of the tsunami and protection of the victims of this disaster. He writes:
What is becoming more and more apparent is that the global village is physically jam-packed but humanity who lives in it is not fully equipped to make this one organic entity operate as one. The oneness of all humanity is a spiritual principle and for that, we need to go beyond physical proximity. Amongst missing tools to materialize the spiritual reality of oneness, is our inability to communicate with each other. Language is a unique gift given to human beings and a most essential ingredient for forwarding human civilization, sharing information, and also connection.
Language is not just knowledge of words but becoming acquainted with the spirit of a culture and being prepared to build bridges of understanding, love, harmony, peace, and unity. Integrated education cannot be fully appreciated and effective while the residents of our small village earth are separated and disconnected in heart and soul but in and out of each other’s backyard. Never mind the missed opportunities of reaching out to one another and grieving over each other. Those who take the chance and time and want to reach out, cannot fully be useful if there are language barriers.
Integrated education encourages parents and educators to make the need for an auxiliary universal language other than one’s mother tongue an essential and integrated part of children’s education all over the world. The global village sooner or later must address the need and means of choosing the auxiliary universal language we all need so desperately to function universally and effectively. Wikipedia gives us an indication that in some sense English seems to be operating for the most part as an informal universal, global language thus far. As a result of the military, economic, scientific, political, and cultural influence of the United Kingdom from the 18th century, and of the United States since the mid-20th century, it has become the lingua franca in many parts of the world, and the most prominent language in international business and science. It is used extensively as a second language and as an official language in the European Union and many Commonwealth countries, as well as many international organizations.
We might want to take yet another lesson from a country that is called by a great teacher in the early 1900s the “country of the future”. A Chinese entrepreneur by the name of Li Yang gathers crowds of thousands of Chinese to yell out English phrases to facilitate their learning of English. He advocates for every Chinese to take every opportunity to approach an English speaker for a conversation.
While visiting China, I myself witnessed many young Chinese approaching me and speaking English in whichever way they could manage. If for nothing else, this one realization of the importance of learning a universal language can make China the country of the future!
We all need an integrated global education for our global village that is farsighted and about the future of all humanity.
Keyvan Geula is a licensed Marriage, Family, and Child Therapist; LMFT. She received her Master of Science in Marriage, family, and Child Therapy from the University of La Verne, in La Verne, California. She employs the latest research in behavioral sciences, neuroscience, and the Baha’i principle of the oneness of all humanity to serve the well-being of her clients.
She offers her services as a clinician, lecturer, trainer, and supervisor to a global set of clients in person and online. In her clinical work, she incorporates the wisdom of the Baha’i Writings, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy research, Mindfulness meditation, and consultation skills, as well as knowledge of the spiritual self.
She is an adjunct professor of Behavioral Sciences at Citrus Community College, faculty of continued education at Claremont Graduate University. She teaches psychology online to students at Baha’i Institute of Higher Education.
She is the Founder and Executive Director of Center for Global Integrated Education (CGIE), a non-profit Baha’i-inspired educational organization, which explores oneness of all humanity, and teaches the integrated mind-body-spirit approach in education.
She has served for two years as the producer and host of a two-hour weekly live radio show for the Persian community in Sothern, California focusing on the role of the psychology of spirituality in personal and social transformation, creativity, emotional and social intelligence, and a greater sense of harmony in a global society. She also has been the host and producer of TV series called Transforming Human Consciousness for eight years. She regularly writes and blogs on www.cgie.org/blog on topics related to integrated education, the oneness of humanity, the powers of the human spirit in the betterment of global society, elimination of all prejudice, equality of women and men, and education reform. Some of her shows are posted on her; Keyvan Geula YouTube Channel.
Mrs. Geula has served in several Baha’i institutions since her youth in Iran and USA.