My Best Friend is a Mono-Cultural; Does that make me a traitor?
Honestly, hearing these things made me want to denounce my TCK loyalties entirely.
It was frustrating to hear these things because one of the things we (the TCK community) pride ourselves in is being tolerant and accepting of other cultures…
...except the culture of our passport, apparently.
After I calmed down a bit, I began to process my defensive stance on this topic. There are people whom I love dearly who have only left the country a handful of times. These people are no better than I am and I am no better than they are. We all have different perspectives due to our cultural upbringing, but at the end of the day we are all sinners in need of a savior.
When I honestly consider my own experience, I realize I would never been able to learn the US culture without a “cultural guide”.
This is where our arrogance and humility intersect – we need our mono-cultural friends initially, but so often we then discredit their value once we’ve outgrown the need for them.
The conclusion I’ve come to is everyone has a place at the table.
I would challenge anyone who thinks they don’t have anything else to learn, thinks their experience is more superior or thinks they have more to offer to re-evaluate this mindset.
Consider where we (followers of Jesus) would be if Jesus took this position – because he very easily could have! He is infinitely better than we are and ever will be. He came to seek and to save – not to come and belittle our “meager” human experiences. He came in the flesh of a human, taking on the full human experience and validating sadness, grief and pain. He accepted people who were looked down on by society and encouraged his disciples to follow suit.
My challenge to you is to embrace differences. Humble yourself. Learn from other people who differ from you. Validate each other’s experiences by listening and learning to relate to one another.
I hope that others are able to create and benefit from equally rich relationships with mono-cultural citizens.
|Joel and his best friend, Jared, on their annual New Years trip.|