I was delighted to see the word Esperanto in the article “3 Reasons to see Bill W. and Dr. Bob,” giving me an opportunity to let your readers know that reviewer Charles Donelan is mistaken when he writes that Esperanto was among social concepts with “a relatively limited lifespan and impact, eventually running out of their initial energy as they confront the realities of an already existing social structure.”
For over 40 years, I have had the privilege of using Esperanto to get personally acquainted (by correspondence, home visits, and international conventions ) with hundreds of people of diverse cultures all over the world on a linguistically equal level, with neither they nor I feeling superior or inferior because of language differences.
World-wide, Esperanto is currently enabling people in over 100 countries to experience the same thrill I have had – and still have. “Everyone speaks English” does not result in linguistic equality like Esperanto does. And Esperanto has the added advantage of an extensive literature, both original and translated, besides hundreds of people world-wide offering hospitality to speakers of Esperanto.
No, Mr. Donelan, Esperantists have not “run out of their initial energy.” The language Esperanto still enables thousands of us (including members of the Esperanto Society of Santa Barbara) to savor other cultures without a language barrier.