How many times have I listened to one, single story of a people group or a country or a family or a person and that one, single story became everything that I know about them? I judged and believed and repeated that judgement all too often. All based on one, single story.
I am ashamed. I am ashamed of being so narrow minded and ignorant. For a person who has a passion for justice and a passion for all to be heard and not judged I can be so closed.
The following video is life changing. I literally wept when I heard this woman speak. We need to listen. To everyone. No more labels or judgements. I know, as humans, we so easily fall back into that pattern. I know I do. I am a constant work in progress. 🙂
May this woman speak to your heart as she did mine:
I have always loved meeting people of other cultures. Even if they were Americans but held onto their family’s ethnic culture. I guess we all have a culture of sorts. The way we do things, our life style. Some are more original than others. I believe it is good to let our kids experience other family’s ways of doing things. We don’t have to agree. It’s just good to know that there are people, just the same as us, but they have different ways of doing things. I believe it helps our children to expand their horizons when they grow into adulthood and begin making their our cultures.
I lived a pretty sheltered life. We had family friends, but we were all the same. We shopped at the same stores that were very American in their products. Occasionally my mom would surprise me. I remember one Easter I found a small box in my Easter basket with chocolates from Holland shaped like wooden shoes. They were delicious. She bought them every year until the US no longer let them in – at least that is what I was told. But I have found them online through the Vermont Country Store. Vermont Country Store
As I expanded my horizons, I found myself in Southern California for several years. Love Mexican food. And people. We had the most wonderful neighbors that taught me so much. Then I met Romanians and their generosity. The list goes on. I discovered Pier 1 stores and THEN, World Market. I feel as though I have walked into the whole world when I shop there.
Now, the world of internet blogging has brought me friends from, Pakistan, India, Singapore, Scotland, England, Australia, New Zealand, Manila, I could go on and on. I love it.
But I want to tell you what I don’t love. I do not love that I don’t know another language. I get visits from blogs and when I go to theirs it is in a foreign language. I can pick out Spanish (2 years in high school and S. California living), maybe French and German. I’ve tried to use the translate button, although most do not have one, and cannot figure out how to use it. I don’t even know what language I’m trying to translate most of the time. I have a translate button on my site – I am so sorry to anyone who cannot use it.
My point is, it is my education. In my day we were required two years of a foreign language in high school. I chose Spanish. I can read Spanish but have no idea what I am reading for the most part. I think if I studied it, I could do well.
However, that doesn’t help me now. I want to apologize to the other countries that I find on this blogging venture. Most of you seem to also know English – or you have a great program that translates it for you – I’m embarrassed for our country and me that does not take seriously the learning of other languages. I know there are many Americans that do, but I think most of us do not. And that, I am sorry for.
Please know that I am not a cocky American who thinks everyone else in this world needs to speak my language. That repels me greatly, that mindset. I will do my best to learn something. I’m thinking French. I have a daughter-in-law who speaks French, therefore, we could practice together ( it would be helpful to have someone I can converse with). You can meet Tineke here: http://viewfromgramarye.wordpress.com/about-me/
According to the Briggs Myers personality test – I should be able to pick up languages easily. I’m afraid I bought into the American laziness. I will change that. Hold me to it, kind readers, please.