Globalization takes many forms in the world today. Given its broad scope of factors from human security to nationalism to mass media communication, globalization encompasses the whole range of issues and possibilities for life on planet Earth. A noteworthy instance of globalization’s impact on universal society is that of Logos Hope. This non-profit venture is regarded as the world’s largest floating book fair, spreading its message of “knowledge, help and hope to the people of the world.”
Logos Hope is the name of the ship where 400 Christian volunteers work together traveling the world to make a difference in the countries they visit over a two-year period. Their most recent outreach occurred in Bangkok, Thailand; they remained there for three weeks hosting the book fair and giving private tours of the ship. Not only did the volunteers remain on the ship, but also went out into the Bangkok community to be of service to the local Thai people.
Furthermore, Logos Hope volunteers come from over 45 nations and are sponsored by regular people who believe in their cause to leave the world better than they found it. While everyone has his or her own mother tongue from the respective countries represented on the ship, English is the lingua franca (common language) of the entire staff and crew. It allows them to communicate with each other to accomplish their daily tasks; not to mention that the book fair primarily contains English titles from books to music to DVDs. There is some foreign literature available at the fair (e.g., Bibles and dictionaries), but English is the lingua franca of print and digital media sold on the Logos Hope.
What really made my day, serving as an encouragement to my Christian faith, was the fact that a new crew member gladly offered to give my friends and I a private tour of the ship. We had special VIP access to explore the lesser known parts of the large vessel. The funny thing is that this happened right as we were about to leave. Our kind host Brandon, whom I had crossed paths with earlier on the ship, was pleased to show us around (accompanied by his colleague). Eager as we were to see more of the ship we knew it was divine favor satisfying the desire of our hearts to have a more enriching experience that would complete our day on Logos Hope.
So many questions we had for the new young crew members about the ship itself, their (our hosts’) personal motivation for giving of themselves in this selfless, sacrificial manner, and about their local impressions of Thai culture and society. We got to speak to the captain of the ship (another wish of mine), to try on his garb stored in the cockpit, and to observe lifeboat training by other crew members. It felt like I was experiencing life on the Titanic on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon at the riverside.
Truly admiring the commitment of these volunteers, my joy was fulfilled by seeing such gracious, spirited, mature young adults undertaking service that will forever impact their lives. And learning of this event from my friend could not have been more opportune because it served as the perfect research case study for my Globalization lengthy term paper assignment on “English as the Lingua Franca.” Isn’t it great when life happens in a manner like this?
So in keeping with the theme on globalization I would like to conclude by referencing the following excerpt from my recently submitted report: “While globalization has produced a number of negative consequences [time and space doesn’t permit me to mention them currently] throughout modern civilization, it has also had a positive influence on the global village as illustrated by the Logos Hope story. The noble and indomitable power of the human spirit aligned with its fellow human beings speaking the same tongue can and will always be a force for sweeping change in the fight for greater human security and self-actualization.”
Visit gbaships.org to follow Logos Hope’s journey around the world.