One of the most fascinating discoveries that any person can make is what all of us share in common.
Now, it is true that mathematics and music are the languages that transcend human words. However, there is one language that all humans are meant to learn from their earliest days: love.
Love is the true universal language.
Why? Because we are all made in the image of God, who is Love itself. Even if we do not realize it, we are meant to know love in our lives. Not necessarily romantic love, though it has its place. No, the love we are meant to know is the self-giving, serving the other, caring for another love.
It takes a myriad of forms. But the common language of compassion, kindness, and thoughtfulness remain the same.
Interestingly, while love is the universal language, there is another word that is the universal greeting.
Can you guess it?
Across almost all major world religions (including most of the ancients), the word we should use to greet one another is peace.
One place to look for the reason behind this comes from our Jewish brethren. In its Hebrew form, shalom, it means wholeness. Because true peace is not a lack of conflict. It is the fullness and flourishing of all around us. The wholeness that comes from truly knowing Godly love.
So what should we take away from this consideration of words?
First, the place to begin with those who are different than you is to look at how they love others and start the conversation there, because we are all meant to find common ground.
And second, no matter who you meet or where they come from, when greeting a fellow human, the best thing one can always say is peace – wish them wholeness. Wish them flourishing. Wish them love lived out.