Last Saturday I went to see the movie "Arrival" with my husband and a friend. We agreed it was excellent -- beautiful picture and intelligent writing. My favorite line in the movie was about how a language shapes human thinking and perception. Arriving in the U.S. at age nineteen I've experienced the shift firsthand. My native language is Thai. It's fluid and unstructured, much like a rap, with unnecessary words thrown in and necessary words left out to create an emotional impact within a sentence. Growing up using Thai language I often felt like drowning under the emotional current. I struggled to understand the world around me critically while failing miserably to coherently express my thoughts and communicate my feelings.
English, with its logical structure and directness, was a breath of fresh air when I first learned it in the fifth grade. Though, I'm still striving to overcome my limited vocabulary, wrong pronunciations, and basic grammatical mistakes. Surprisingly, the more I learn the English language the more I understand the Thai language, and the deeper I gain the understanding of my psychological state. English language maximizes my productivity. I feel my best when I am prolific and useful, and am inspired by constructive and inventive people. I enjoy structuring my thoughts and laying plans of actions tremendously. Yet, it's the intimacy of experience -- the awareness of personal thoughts, feelings, and actions that grounds and harmonizes my active nature. Thai language is in my being. It's how I experience life intimately with or without uttering a word.
Veracity means truth, facts, and accuracy. At the subtle level it is our ability to accept what is and all things as they are. A vigorous exploration of critical and scientific findings are not the opposites of acceptance. To speak the truth is to communicate what is true within our limited experience while acknowledging the common human experience that is the current universal fact. We overcome the divisive mind or one-sided perception and arrive at clarity by practicing veracity at all levels. The accurate assessment of our inner experiences leads to self-compassion. Self-compassion is the foundation of empathy. Empathy adheres us. It enables us to see other points of view and allows for the humanity to thrive. The movie "Arrival' illustrates that the most important human skill is communication. Let's look within ourselves and for each other the non-dual language that coheres the body, heart, and mind to find the truthful words and build the peaceful world.