One appeal of Esperanto

I am an emerging Esperantist — komencanto; a beginner — though like others I met at the Landa Kongreso last month, it helps if you’ve been previously exposed to the contagion. And apart from my studies as a child and college student, there was a familiarity. A familiarity built up in years of living with Unitarian Universalists.

A few days ago, blogger and minister Dan Harper asked where people get their “Universalism fix.” I suppose I had been getting it from reading, and certainly there have been isolated Universalists for whom that was their main or only outlet. But at some point — when I’m no longer sure — that I figured I might as well act like one. If Universalist Christianity, by what I mean when I think Universalism, had continued robustly, I’m sure I’d be doing other things than Sunday services and Sunday school. I would try to live like other people’s salvation was assured, like grace was free and that “holiness and true happiness were inseparably connected,” to quote the Winchester Profession.

One way I’ve found to do this is to learn something, or become familiar with something, that pulls me out my familiar life or habits — something directed toward the common good, or in particular, creates access to resources that wouldn’t otherwise exist.

So, apart from the fun and the community — some reasons people go to church, too — I am learning Esperanto to develop and continue a community that commonly and easily leaps across ethnic and national lines, and insists that people should not be humiliated or deprived of access because their native language has low-status, or because their use of English (or another dominant language; but what matches it today?) is eccentric or incomplete.

That’s one place I get my Universalism fix.

To start learning Esperanto — many students are self-directed — try Esperanto-USA, or your own landa organization. Or go to Lernu.net directly, which is where I’m improving my skills.

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