When I have got this question from Pepper, I was keeping it in my mind for some days: Now my answer is the following - I would have been learning intensively foreign languages already from my childhood to get a deep and perfect knowledge of at least five. Then the world would be for me even more open and this extended capability could bring to me an additional support and stimulation in what I like and what is bringing to me a great feeling in my life achievement.
I think all the possible “Whys” can be easily understood. I am mentioning below just some of them:
In the words of the well-known guru in the automotive business, Lee Iacocca: Management is nothing else than motivation and motivation is nothing else than communication (people with people!)
By natural development the world is more and more connected, business is global, communication when traveling all over the world brings access to huge learning opportunities. In spite of this, English became what Esperanto wanted to be more than century ago. It’s not enough to be dependent only on 2-3 languages, including English. However, the effective use of English is common in business at the upper managerial level and among students reaching a certain level of education. But for deep knowledge and understanding of countries culture, human beings’ priorities, views, and opportunities, a direct communication and real listening is of utmost importance and can’t be substituted just by translation.
When looking around us we can sense small children’s brains are able to absorb an enormous amount of information, so it makes sense to start learning languages at the age of 5, or even earlier. Naturally, it would be fantastic to be aware of all of this when one is 5 years old, but that isn’t possible. So, the question is, “What can we do to use this awareness for our future - for our children or grandchildren?”
In addition to Pepper’s question came into my mind a similar question, which I have been receiving on various occasions quite often, mainly from students in seminars - “Have you done any mistakes and what have been their consequences?”
Naturally I have memorialized quite a number of situations which easily could have changed my life substantially in a positive way or negative one.
My spontaneous answer usually is: YES, naturally I have done many mistakes, some of them normal ones as a part of everyone’s natural development, and some of them are still in my memory as problematic. And when students ask me, "What would happen if, from today's perspective, those mistakes had not happened, what would this mean for you today. How would things be different?" After a short time thinking, I would say: "Most likely I wouldn't be honored to be receiving invitations to speak at such an occasion as is this one today.”
So, my not surprising view on this question is the following:
It would be difficult to organize our future actions and way of life by recriminations of: "If I would have done this or that ten years ago....then I could be richer or happier or, or…” For a successful and enjoyable life we should do, from now, our best - proactively be doing something, something that brings us a feeling of joy and the possibility to delivery our competence and strength in a way that can be recognized by colleagues, friends, and society and will bring us a deserved reward. The past is behind us, we can/must learn from that in a positive way (awareness about mistakes and missed opportunities-becoming more mature and experienced, etc.). Not to be crying over spilt milk. We can't change past, but we can change and correct positively many things in our future. And, our higher maturity and gained experiences can help us on this way a lot. What I believe is important is to stick to one’s principal values in life and to become a good human being, one who is recognized and appreciated for their ability to deliver positive, reasonable and recognized added value.