I've been studying espanol on and off over the years and there are fundamental moments where a new language offers different insights into life.
The first time this happened for me, I was in Mexico. I remember thinking that there were so many different words to say that something was beautiful.
A woman could be bonita, guapa, or hermosa; it seemed to me that the Spanish language had many more words to describe beauty than what I could think of in my native tongue of English.
It was a silly thought at first, but it held my attention; and then it entered my mind that perhaps this particular group of people needed more words to describe the beauty around them because they saw more beauty in their world or at the very least, their language gave them the capacity to see unique varieties of beauty all around them and describe it.
That fleeting moment taught me that language was bigger than I had know it to be, it was truly important in shaping our world.
And that's why I stopped dead in my tracks today in contemplating a simple phrase. " A que te dedicas?"
It's a simple translation, a way to ask, what do you do for work? But it's different from what I was accustom to hearing.
In Mexico and other Spanish speaking countries where I have traveled, I am normally asked, "en que trabajas?" The verb trabajar directly translates to the English word "to work." So this phrase is neither mystifying or difficult.
In Nicaragua however my Nica friends do not ask "en que trabajas?" Instead they ask me "a que te dedicas?" On the surface the meaning is the same, but the verb dedicar is different.
Dedicar - to dedicate.
What would happened if we stopped asking each other what we do for work? or what we do to make a living? And instead we started asking a much more profound question >>>
A que te dedicas? What do you dedicate yourself to?
Where do you spend your time, your energy, your attention?
What are your passions? What brings you joy?
A mi me dedico - I dedicate myself to:
* Learning and sharing the practice of yoga
* Traveling and experiencing other cultures and languages
* Teaching people that they are stronger than they know
y tu? a que te dedicas? // And you? What do you dedicate yourself to?
PS - San Juan del Sur, Nicaraga is a wonderful place to be. Thank you universe for bringing me to this exact place at this exact time.