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Muchas Gracias – Gochi

by Ugochi Ossai

In a world that is becoming increasingly interconnected, it is not uncommon to come across language barriers in our daily lives.

Truth is that oftentimes, whether we are traveling, meeting new people from different cultures, or even in our own neighborhoods, the inability to communicate effectively can sometimes create a sense of distance and misunderstanding.

However, we found out that there are instances where a simple phrase can transcend these barriers and bring people together, fostering a sense of camaraderie and connection.

Such was the experience of my friends and i a couple of weeks ago in Spain- an experience that was both hilarious and enlightening as we stumbled through various situations trying to be understood.

For us, the go to phrase was “muchas gracias,” which means “thank you” in Spanish. It became our phrase after many unsuccesful efforts at trying to ask for direction, prices of goods and making sense of our destination with cab drivers. Luckily, even when neither party made any headway, the conversation always ended with a smile and ‘muchas gracias”- the universal connector.

It also became our way of teasing each other after each communication failure.

With over 2800 delegates at the BNI global conference there was no lack of tourists on the streets of Madrid. It was heartwarming to witness how a phrase in one language, spoken by someone unfamiliar with Spanish, can create a ripple effect of understanding and camaraderie amongst individuals, buIlding bridges between people from diverse backgrounds.

When someone utters “muchas gracias” it was often met with warm smiles, helping hands, and a sense of appreciation, rather than confusion or frustration.

The power behind “muchas gracias” lies in its ability to allow people to form connections that might have otherwise been challenging to establish.

It reveals the beauty of diversity and the willingness of people to accept and embrace others, even if they cannot fully communicate with them through words.

We came away with the understanding that communication can flourish despite barriers.

So, let’s embrace diversity, appreciate the efforts of others, and be grateful for the connections we form. Because after all is said and done, a genuine “thank you” holds the power to create a more united and compassionate world.

Ugochi Ossai ICF, Board of Directors

ICF Nigeria, empowering Coaches nationwide.


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