You may wonder, having just read the subject line, what the heck being a nicer person has to do with learning a foreign language! It turns out that in a 2010 study by the National Institutes of Health, bilingual children were generally found to get along more harmoniously with other children, whether in the school environment or at play.
The human brain is still a vast and mysterious frontier, but researchers believe there is a direct correlation between speaking a second language and expanding one's emotional perspective.
It's all about adaptability. As you stretch and expand your mind to embrace new ways of saying things, you are also developing new ways of seeing things. You learn that there is often more than one way to say the same thing, but perhaps more importantly, more than one way to do something or to understand a particular situation.
To quote the founder of an organization I used to work for, simply put:
Different is not wrong.
This simplistic statement actually packs a powerful punch! It can free us of dogmatic and narrow thinking and open our eyes to whole worlds and other perspectives.
So next time you sit down to study that foreign language, just remember that the more you're able to express yourself in another language, the greater chances of your becoming a more flexible, adaptable, and, hopefully, kind person!