Editor-in-chief Seán Dagan Wood introduces issue 87 of Positive News

A language is not just a set of words, but a way of seeing the world.

We are conscious of this at Positive News, where words are our craft. While the news is often told with ugly or divisive vocabulary, we want to shape new tools for collective understanding. Words are capable of being critical but constructive and compassionate too.

So we are excited to celebrate language in this issue. In our cover feature we investigate efforts to preserve our precious linguistic diversity when, tragically, half of all languages are set to vanish by the end of the century.

There’s a thrill to discovering an untranslatable word – stretching our imaginations to take in a new concept – or articulating something we’ve felt but been unable to name. Words lend us colour, richness and meaning. They connect us.

Language allows us glimpses through other people’s eyes. In our Solutions Lab section we look at how progress could be made with police and community relations. It highlights just how important genuine dialogue is to moving beyond conflict.

Words lend us colour, richness and meaning. They connect us

Fortunately, cooperation is part of who we are as a species, as explored in our feature and infographic about the selfish myth.

It was language too though, which helped create the unfamiliar political landscape into which Britain was thrust earlier this year. Many people feel unheard by political leaders, but on the ground, a global ‘free listening movement’ is emerging, as we explore.

And while sport, from football to surfing, often has its own terminologies, in this issue we see how it can break down social barriers and help people thrive.

You may have noticed the impact of the media’s language on your thoughts and feelings, particularly if you have ‘sensitivity genes’. We delve into research by psychologist Elaine Fox that suggests the same genes that predispose us to anxiety and depression also make us more able to experience great happiness. Being mindful of our information diet, we have an opportunity to nurture our wellbeing.

We can use language to reach for the world of our longing. The cover of this magazine is adorned with words that we feel capture some of the heart of Positive News, and of you, the community it serves. We offer this issue in celebration of the diversity, creativity and connection we share. Despite its many challenges, our world – home to more than seven billion people speaking 7,000 languages – is beautiful.

We offer this issue in celebration of the diversity, creativity and connection we share

To get a copy of the latest issue of Positive News magazine, become a member now at: positive.news/join

Illustration: ‘Celebrating language diversity’ by Studio Blackburn