a big beautiful mess

Babel for Peace

What if the Tower of Babel was a blessing? What if no one spoke the same language, and everyone had to communicate in a third?

What if instead of spending our time selecting the most searing and potent words in our own language to use in argument against our neighbor, we had to muddle our way through a sentence to make him understand? What if instead of spending time crafting our rebuttals we had to muddle our way through his sentences, to understand?

What if instead of declaring, “I believe in the One True God,” you had to explain what that meant every time you said it? What if there was no word for God?

What if everyone had to learn Esperanto instead of having his language piped into his ears by the dedicated translators at the U.N.? Or Sanskrit? Or ancient Greek? What if we all studied together in one big classroom, and we forgot our little fights while we worked together to understand the arguments? Every last word.

When every word is a struggle, meaning becomes crystallized, segregated from rhetoric, because rhetoric takes too long. Or, when every word is a struggle, everything is rhetoric, everything is a figure of speech. A figure of speech. A form made from words. God is “the one who lives above us and sees us as we live and work, and speaks quietly in our ear, explaining what is right.”

What a world it would be if that were the only way to say God.

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