Role of Language and Diversity in the Critical Thinking Process

Role of Language and Diversity in the Critical Thinking Process

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Never realizing that my life was nothing but a metaphor until now this paper will attempt to communicate some of my experiences in those terms. While this is a new concept for me and I find it difficult to find the words and metaphoric examples which will describe parts of my life and experience I will make the attempt and hope you enjoy them.

     Traveling to Egypt in 1994 was a great experience for me and I took in all of the wonders that country could offer. The pyramids were mountains that one could stand next to. They stood higher then anyone would image and I was completely surprised by their size and workmanship.

     The pyramids sit just outside of Cairo watching the city through a layer of smog that rises daily from the cars and trains that traverse the city carrying the Egyptian people to their appointments and jobs. Some would feel that this was not a healthy place to be and they may be right but it is what it is, a city where the rich and poor live their lives side by side trying to survive and make a better life for themselves and their families.

     The Egyptian capitol is home to many cultural showcases where anyone can see how the Egyptians won the 7 day war with Israel in a 360 degree diorama sponsored by the Egyptian government. Another place that will catch someone eye is the pharonic Village. This is a living example of how the Egyptian people lives and worked for thousand of years. Even today the women can still be seen washing their families clothes in the Nile while other richer families will have a washing machine.

     While visiting the city of Luxor which is a ten hour train trip from Cairo I was lucky to have use of a small pool located on the roof of our hotel. From that vantage point I was able to see how the city lived. An old woman was tending to her chickens which were all sharing a room with no roof on the top floor of a building that would be condemned here the United States. She was happy and enjoying the eggs her chickens gave her which she sold to others to bring in a small paycheck. Since I was high up on top of the hotel se was unaware of my presence. I watched her for a while just to be sure she was fine.

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As the sun began to set she corralled her chickens, gave them some feed and then got comfortable on her bed to listen to the portable radio she had placed on a small table. This all seemed surreal and detached to me because I never realized how happy one could be living such a simple life. Some would consider her lifestyle worse then living in the Midwest during the dustbowl days. I could see the peaceful smile on her face through my camera lens.

     Traveling further south to Aswan was traveling further back in time where people lived on the Nile and traveled to the different river islands by sail boat. We rented on for the day and traveled all around the Aswan Nile basin enjoying the sights and sounds. It was a heavenly day in which we were blessed by a light rain shower that cooled the air. Life was good and we all were happy just letting the day pass us by.

     I you have a chance to travel to Egypt go it is a great country and the people welcomed me with open arms and hugs. Make sure you are fit and able to handle the typical pharaohs curse that most travelers experience from eating the food. The three most important things that you must keep with you while traveling in Egypt are fresh clean bottled water, toilet paper, and a map to all of the water closets in the area where you will be staying. Take care of those things and the rest will follow.

The Role of Language and diversity

     Critical thinking demands the use of language skills and the cultivation of ideas. Performing these functions correctly requires the understanding of language and using it accurately. If one cannot speak to or describe a situation and the possible outcomes of that situation in a manner that others can understand then no amount of higher level thinking will overcome the language barriers between cultures and people.

     One may not have the use of their mouths to speak a language but that same person can be taught the critical thinking process and learn to use it. Being able to speak words does not mean you are communicating or understanding the words you are saying.

     Being from different cultures will help one to think in other terms. For me the woman in the rooftop room was happy and I did not think that was possible until I could see her living in what some though was poverty. I could see this woman enjoyed her life and was content.

Language is the media that we communicate with while diversity is the message we are sending. Both accent each other and form a symbiotic function where is one is not working well the other cannot be understood fully.

     One of the limiting factors in the use of language is the lack of terms in a given situation. When a person is at a loss for words and cannot explain what they have seen, heard, or experienced then no meaning or a significantly limited meaning could be conveyed. The best example of language empowering a person that I can think have today is a child. When a child is born they have no language skills.

As that child grows and learned more vocabulary they begin to communicate their needs and wants. We parents will respond to their sound, cries, and words without any thought. Is that child empowered? You bet and as they learn more words they become even more empowered to accomplish greater things. Once a full Vocabulary is achieved that child will succeed at any task.
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