Chapter I – Part 8

$ Are you still angry with me?

$ Even more, I think, because I envy you that you transform you shortcomings into inspiration. I must confess: my first reaction was different.

$ What was it?

$ I thought to myself: some people get bored at work. Or maybe they don’t have work to do and at my expense they allow themselves a chess course. Nevertheless, quickly enough I recalled: everything is my reflection.

$ Thank you for being so frank. When we started, I asked you to point out advantages of a situation where people haven’t mastered a foreign language for years. In medical science, this phenomenon is called primary and secondary morbid gain. Normally, nobody says that they want to be ill because it pays off to be ill. However, an illness can produce positive motivations: if I am ill, people require less from me, I can miss work, get sympathy, avoid challenges.

$ Right. I haven’t been on a sick leave since… I don’t remember when.

$ Do you never get sick?

$ I do. A flu’, sinus inflammation, bronchitis. I go to work then, stay shorter in my office, I try to recover at weekends.

$ We’ll come back to this today, too. What advantages can you see in a situation like yours, as far as the foreign languages are concerned?

$ I can get mad at English, say that it is difficult, ugly, illogical. Instead of thinking that maybe I am a loser.

$ If you learned, you wouldn’t be such a waste?

$ I don’t think so. I would find another scapegoat. E.g. something related to the diets and losing weight. Secondly, it pays off not to speak a foreign language because I have less work and less responsibility.

$ What you dispraised yourself for last time, pays off.

$ Unfortunately. Abroad, people who go with me, have to mother me, it’s nice to be taken care of.

I have a reason not to go abroad: because I don’t speak the language and I don’t conceal: savings and a short trip are very tempting for me.

I can perceive my life a constant rehearsal: when I speak English….

$ Then?

$ I dream of restructuring completely my Technical Department, of creating a separate R&D. There’s a boy in my company, an amazing visionary. Do you know what he shared with me last? Well, he is convinced that our mind has such possibilities that it can grab any information as needed regardless of whether it is in a book, online or on a tape. I just ask myself a question, and my intuition or telepathy shows me where to find an answer, e.g. in the Edison’s biography. And then I use my mental mouse and click on an adequate virtual folder. In his opinion, fast reading is an intermediate stage. Of course, our classical reading remains, but only in the frame of pleasure from the communion with a text. To him, the evidence that it is possible is collective memory and cellular memory. He says: the Maker “geniused” so much while creating the DNA not to make human beings pore over a book or in front of a computer.

$ Fascinating! It appeals to me very much because I am of the opinion that forgetting doesn’t exist. I interrupted you. You were talking about the boy.

$ It’s ok. I am sure he is wasting his talents in my company. So far he is young, he enjoys working in my place but in time he’ll see that, too. I have access to enormous founds for research at a giant scale. Budget plan, negotiations, conferences – everything in English. I can’t make it. No, I can’t make it. I hide behind my English not to confront huge challenges, loads of work and no guarantee of success.

$ You have found some arguments in favor of procrastination in developing your English.

$ More and more come to my mind. I am appalled!

$ Every time you realize such a morbid gain you can choose giving it up.

$ Temporary lack of income in exchange for future gains.

$ Exactly. Answer to yourself: are you ready to face what you really think of yourself instead of hiding behind English, diets, weather, crisis? Are you apt to have more things to do? Take up more responsibility? Would you fancy seeing what it is like to be independent abroad? What it is like being abroad a couple of times a year, to spend on yourself (with pleasure!) money you have earned in your honest and hard work? Will you be able to leave your comfort zone, face travel efforts, enjoy the otherness of the place where a 12-hour-flight got you? Will you take the risk of creating a separate R&D in this very year and promise that regardless of the outcome, in one-year-time you’ll say: I wouldn’t have it any other way?

$ Uhhh, as you see, I’m not buying anything from what you’re saying.

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