When you meet someone new, do you try to find something in common with that person? There is one thing we share with everyone: laughter.
I usually work from home, but in February I started a two-month contract at an office in downtown Ottawa. On my lunch hour every day, I go for a walk around the streets of Canada’s capital. As I walk, I entertain myself by guessing what language the groups of people I meet will be speaking. English and French reflect the bilingual nature of Canada. I hear them both often. But on Parliament Hill, anything goes. Spanish, Arabic, Mandarin, Italian . . .. Tourists come from around the world to visit our beautiful city.
One afternoon I approached a group of people in animated conversation. I ventured a guess—French? Just when I got close enough to hear, the group burst into loud laughter. They laughed heartily until I was well past. I never did hear what language they were speaking.
I smiled as I walked on, because I realized it didn’t matter. They were speaking a universal language.