One skill that I think many people do not have but could benefit from mastering is learning a foreign language. Business, political and educational leaders are realizing that the whole world does not speak English. In fact, many of those people who have learned English as a second language prefer to converse and negotiate business in their own native language. Knowing a second language is now a very important part for an immense number of careers. Not only can it help with getting a job, but it can also take part in helping them get a promotion or a raise. Sometimes, knowing or not knowing a second language can even be the deciding factor in whether or not an employer hires them.
It also enables people to achieve a better understanding of their own.
Studying or knowing a foreign language does not guarantee understanding or empathy for the native speakers of the language; furthermore, it does help to avoid misconceptions and often brings forth gratitude and sympathy in the native speakers of the language. I once read a book where a Caucasian man traveled to Bombay, India. Upon arriving, he was treated with much animosity and hostility. However, once he lived there for a while and learned not only the culture but the language as well, the natives of Bombay grew quite fond of him and even total strangers would take a liking to him for the simple fact that he had made an effort to learn their language.
Learning a foreign language can also benefit you academically. One report said “some studies show that children who learn a foreign language score statistically higher on standardized college entrance exams.” The College Entrance Examination Board reported that, “students who had averaged four or more years of foreign language study scored higher on the verbal section of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) than those who had studied four or more years of any other subject.” Knowing a foreign language can contribute to academic achievement. In studies, high school students that were involved in advanced foreign language programs...