Speak English!

Alphabet Soup

Image by saturdave via Flickr

Every Tuesday morning, I wake up early to volunteer at the food bank. I always manage to miss the bus and am left waiting impatiently at the stop. As soon as I finally get on a bus, I am extremely heated. I am late, yet again.

But once I step into the food bank, something comes over me. It is like I have checked everything at the door and I am happy to do whatever is assigned. I am grateful to be working alongside such wonderful volunteers!

Yesterday though, started a little differently. I ran out of my home and realized I was ten minutes early. Rarely does that ever happen, but I was now forty-five minutes early at the food bank. What a great start to the day!

After an hour of bending over and bagging fresh produce, a group from the county court had arrived. I was so glad that there was extra help for the day, but I definitely could have done without one person’s help.

This woman clearly did not want to be there. She kept saying things like how she wanted to get the day over with, or complaining about the smallest things. She was bringing me down and I did not want to be around her. Then the woman said something under her breath that really put me on edge.

“Speak English.”

It was directed toward two of the regular volunteers who were speaking Spanish to one another.

I had to bite my tongue so hard. It was bad enough that she was bringing negative energy, but to do it while insulting people? The loyal volunteers actually wanted to be there, so do not stumble around like it was the worst thing in the world.

I just had to walk away. I had to give her the benefit of the doubt that she was having a bad day.

However, what makes people think English is a superior language? Sure, the U.S. is a power country, but in comparison to other power countries, the U.S. is the lowest ranked. The U.S. continues to lag behind in foreign language education. In countries such as Vietnam and Cambodia, there are universities that only teach in English.What percentage of people in the U.S. speak, read, and write a second language fluently?

Although having the skill of a second language is highly praised, some continue to look down on those who speak English as a second language. Maybe close-minded people need to learn a second language. Ultimately, we need to stop talking down on others and embrace all people and languages.