Living well where you don’t belong by Joann Pitman. “View everything as a privilege, not an entitlement. The American sense of entitlement is strong, and often not helpful when living cross-culturally.”
Identifying leaders who are culturally different than you by Christina Cleveland. “It’s helpful to acknowledge that we all have preferences that can easily turn into biases that lead us to identify “greatness” in similar others and prevent us from seeing “greatness” in culturally different others.”
That day a black girl saved a KKK member from an angry mob by Sarah Cunningham. “Then a woman with a megaphone shouted, “There’s a Klansman in the crowd.” They turned around to see a white, middle-aged man wearing a Confederate flag T-shirt. He tried to walk away from them, but the protesters, including Thomas, followed, “just to chase him out”. So the teenager, then still at high school, threw herself on top of a man she did not know and shielded him from the blows.
An open letter to my sisters in the suburbs by Osheta Moore. “I’m so sorry for the social justice snobbery of my urban tribe that says, unless you put some “skin in the game” you’re not worthy to battle alongside us. Baby, I’ve seen your skinned knees when you pray for us. I’ve seen you crucifying excess and comfort to give to urban organizations. I’ve watched you wrestle with Jesus then hobble away with a softer heart and new name.”
On protecting the hole in your heart. Video interviewing Sandy Hook parents. Just go watch it – you may never forget their words.
16 Things People couldn’t believe about American until they moved here by Michael Koh. A few of my favorites:
- A lot of couples adopt children, sometimes in spite of having their own, and treat them exactly like their own. (To me, this alone is a marker of a great people)
- A name as common and as easy to pronounce as mine is almost invariably incomprehensible to most Americans.
- My Russian in-laws were shocked when they found out that we get packages left on our doorstep and no one steals them. They were also shocked by buffets. My father-in-law told everyone back in Moscow, “No, really! You just pay to enter!”
- I … remember a Nigerian friend expounding on this by asking me, “If I woke you up in the middle of the night and asked you to come with me, what would you say?” “I’d ask what was going on…” “You see,” he said. “My friends from my village would come with me, and on the way would ask, ‘Ade, where are we going?’”
Where did you get the idea you could raise a black child? by Curtis Rogers. “This lady in the grocery store wasn’t the first African American to express concern over our adoption of this child. We figured the first few situations were just isolated opinions. It was now clear that the opinions were not isolated. The questions the lady in the store asked had me confused. She wasn’t just questioning our ability to parent an African American child, she was questioning our motives. I shook off the urge to consider them rude and offensive. That would have been easy. Then I could just walk around being offended and not have to address the issues inside me that her questions triggered. This was more important.”
Why I wouldn’t see 12 years a slave with a white person by Enuma Okoro. “I have good, healthy friendships with a range of people, but I could not think of one white person where I live with whom I would feel emotionally safe enough to see this particular movie about slavery. I did not want to have to entertain any of the likely responses from anyone who could not see themselves in the skin of the enslaved men and women on the screen. I had no desire to dissect the film politically and theologically, engage in well-meaning social commentary, marvel at the history conveyed through the movie, or grieve over what was done to black people.”
Studying Chinese to reach his parents by Patrick Marion Bradley. “Daniel was born in Brooklyn to Chinese immigrant parents. When he was a toddler, his parents sent him to China to live with his grandparents as the young couple tried to settle into stable working conditions stateside. Neither his grandparents nor his parents spoke any English and — to this day — they still really don’t.”
When white people don’t know they’re being white. “We want to say that everything that happens in church is about Jesus, but it’s simply not. There’s a whole lot of culture and power and history and social structure in there as well. Until we acknowledge how these realities shape our thinking, we’re going nowhere.”
10 Reasons I’m reading Harry Potter to my children. “#3. It inspires wonder. Let’s face it, flying on broomsticks playing quidditch outside a magical castle is pretty awe-inspiring to modern kids who ride around in mini-vans and play soccer all day. I don’t want my children limited to the confines of suburban cookie-cutter worlds – I want them to forge creativity, to imagine possibilities beyond their wildest hopes and dreams, to believe in something bigger than what they can actually see. This is how we grow better societies, and in the end, how we also find God.”
Recovering from graduate school atrophy. “By the time he finished, his mind had grown large, but the rest of his body could barely keep itself upright. We drug ourselves to the finish line and when it was over, just sat there staring at each other for awhile. We didn’t even have the energy to cheer we were so tired. It was, in all senses, a paradox of atrophy and growth. While we grew strong in some areas, we weakened in others. Most days were push-through-and-make-it-out-alive instead of breathe-deep-and-relish-the-moment.”