The 19th century witnessed the onset of the industrial revolution, given rise through a symbiosis with advanced means of conducting intercontinental trade.
For the most part, it was British explorers, pioneers and entrepreneurs who were opening the gates to the outside world in search of cheaper and more exotic resources and raw materials. Today, the colonization of these bountiful regions of the globe which formed the British Empire has not only left the imprint of our culture and civilization, but also the English language. Further promoted by the economic and cultural influence of the U.S, post WWII, English has progressively become the most widely recognized international language.
In our current, globalized world, the access to recourses such as technology, information, finance and culture mean that the vast majority of the world?s economies have the means to expand and become better competitors in the world markets. It is possible now to travel the world, do business with foreign clients, invest in overseas enterprises, establish political stability, and visit a Starbucks in Singapore. The prospect of any one culture or civilization being in an isolated state and possibly collapsing is now a superfluous notion. Realizing that a common form of communication is fundamental to this interconnected world, it is justified that the English language is the frame on which it is built.
More and more are the influences of culture being adopted, and inherited. Wider spread are the genes of previous ethnic origin, likewise are the beliefs and aspirations of the present day being, that in our accelerating unity, we are all establishing an acquiescence of a common destiny. Human nature dictates that we must progress; we seek to improve and are compelled to advance from whatever our limitations may be, to something more envious. But with this omnipotent, global ambition, does it not present a noxious consequence in the shadows? Stripping away the ornate and ridding us of our indignity, as we become one allied mass on a mission to the top. But where is the top, and is that where we should be headed? So much affliction has succeeded this movement, human suffering and exploitation, the same can be said for the environment. So if this may not be our suitable direction, the English language which unites us may be the crux of our destruction.
There is a parallel to be drawn with our modern world and that of the story of ?The Tower of Babel? ?Genesis, chapter 11. It is said that humanity was unified by one language and one common ambition. Their belief and appetite for self importance and power was so great that it was their conclusion that they should build a tower high enough to reach into the heavens so as they could stand aside god, at their assumed, rightful post. God, realizing that their one language and one vision had led to such an unhealthy potential and erroneous consequence, destroyed the tower. He cast down the people, condemning them to the far reaches of the globe while giving them incomprehensible tongues, so as never again could such an offensive blunder take place.
While there is no telling the outcome of our efforts as human beings in our own reach to the heavens, we can certainly assess our motives and the manner of our ascension. If our direction is to be of universal benefit for everything concerned in our world, in a way that is continually restoring to it, the things it takes, we will have to work as one force toward a less offensive ideal. It seems without question, that in order to achieve this unanimity, we will require a common form of communication. The English language has over 8 million speakers worldwide, with the aid of teachers, the language might just spread wide enough to be our International language of salvation.
Author: Stuart Aitchison
Date of post: 2007-04-02