Exploring TCK Bigotry

DSCN4615With thanks to Stan Brown for the topic and the wisdom of his response to yesterday’s post….

This one may hurt; may pack a punch and result in a bruise. But bruises heal and scars show that our hearts are alive to pain and growth.  

My post yesterday hit several of my nerves – I regretted posting it as soon as I hit publish. But as is often the case when we are honest, others come forward with the same struggles and share wisdom.

It was my brother Stan’s comment that challenged me to look further at prejudice and bigotry in the third culture kid: “There’s a series topic here for you Marilyn: Exploring TCK bigotry……”

Full disclaimer: In this area, among sinners I am chief.

To the non third culture kid – let me explain: Our life circumstances have gifted us with many things — a love of travel, flexibility, a strong identification with others who have lived abroad for extended periods of time, and a world view that extends miles, nations, and borders past our passport countries.

But along with that we struggle with being invisible immigrants – people who look like those who surround them but think so differently that they feel like chickens in the midst of humans, or aliens in the midst of natives. We are those who feel ‘other’. We don’t know the rules and make massive mistakes in our passport countries. We can be arrogant about what we know and insecure about what we don’t know. We are the only ones without a license, without a sense of fashion, without the common language of idioms and pop culture.

And though it’s difficult to voice, we are prone to prejudice and bigotry in our passport countries. This is ironic. That which makes its mark on us with indelible ink and shouts flexibility, adaptability, maturity and fun is suddenly hidden under disdain and inability to relate to those around us. Mark Twain wrote these words years ago – and those of us who are third culture kids love these words:

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

Yet what happens when that quote we love turns on us? Like pointing the finger at someone, and suddenly realizing the other fingers point back in our faces?  What happens when we take all that life experience — travel, cultural humility established through many years of negotiating cross-cultural interactions, our ability to understand dual causality and be capable of complexity — and turn it into weapons against those who have not traveled?

We become that which we dislike. We become narrow-minded in a reverse way. We become the dictionary definition of a bigot “a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices”.

My faith tradition comes down hard on prejudice and arrogance. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,”*

“That’s simplistic” I want to cry out “It doesn’t take into consideration that this is hard for me, that I struggle with feeling ‘other’ and so out of step with those around me, that this is all I have.” The words above from the Holy Scriptures dance in my head but they need to be imprinted on my heart.

Stan’s comment from above didn’t end there. It goes on and challenges me further:

“So my problem is this and more – I find myself alternating among prejudices depending on where I am geographically. Sometimes I find myself feeling prejudice against my passport countrymen; then against my birth nation; then against my fellow TCK generation and, not surprisingly, mostly then against myself for feeling this way. Thankfully the opposite happens more and more where I find myself rejoicing in the diversity of cultures, appreciation for my passport country, and, again not surprisingly, at peace with myself.”

And hear this for it is critically important to the discussion:

“The degree of my prejudice seems directly related to the amount of direct and personal interaction I have with people of a variety of cultures (listening, learning) or, on the other hand, how much time I spend avoiding such interaction, leading to introspection and bigotry.”

When you sit down and learn about someone, see them as a person and get to know them, it changes the dynamic. I learn that the person who has lived in the same town since childhood went to a Catholic school in a poor area of Boston and tells amazing and humorous stories about the priests and nuns.  I learn that a friend with an Irish background grew up in an all Italian neighborhood and learned early on, as she went from house to house eating pasta before finally heading home to her mom’s boiled cabbage dinners, that she liked Italian food better. I learn that someone who has lived in the same town her whole life is a voracious reader and can talk about all kinds of places where I’ve never been with a knowledge far beyond mine.

And I begin to remember – it’s all about relationship. It was the key to loving my adopted countries, it continues to be the key to living in my passport country. As an Adult Third Culture Kid, I’ve had to re-learn the value of relationships, of give and take, of knowing and being known as a fundamental antidote to my TCK bigotry.

The antidote can be summed up like this: When I learn the story of another, when I’m willing to be in relationship, it’s hard to remain a bigot. 

What about you? No matter who you are or where you live, prejudice and bigotry can be subtle. Do you struggle with prejudice and if so, what is your antidote? 

Take a look at this piece, published in Between Worlds – Essays on Culture and Belonging called “Saudade” – a Word for the Third Culture Kid

*Philippians 2:3

56 thoughts on “Exploring TCK Bigotry

  1. Marilyn – this is a great article. It puts words to some things that I have noticed in my work with TCK’s. You did a wonderful job in expressing and beginning a dialogue on this topic. And it is timely as I am in the midst off training a team to go and serve TCK’s – many are returning team members and this will be a great article for us to read and discuss! Thank you so much for writing this article.

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    1. Wow – I so appreciate this comment Corrie. The post revived itself somehow through a couple of conversations I’ve been having with other TCKs and as I re-read it myself, I’m struck by how much growing I still have to do in this area. A huge part is learning to listen. I think it is easy to get locked in my own story, forgetting to hear the stories of others. I’d love to hear more about what you’re doing but please know how encouraging it was to get this comment today.

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  2. I grew up in Mexico and Pakistan and came back to one of my passport countries for my senior year. I think being in Canada along the U.S. border helped, it seems Canadians within that band have similar insecurities as we TCK’s have.
    After highschool I seemed to always find myself in multicultural environments. LeTourneau University drew in lots of TCK’s and foreign students, the company I went to work for was about 60% non-WASP. My friends there were Brazilians, Argentinian and one really nice athiest kid from a fundamentalist family. I married another TCK and our kids seek out those with multiple cultures.
    In many ways I have isolated myself by refusing to assimilate. As an electrical engineer I’m expected to be aloof and have poor people skills so that helps, but I can’t help but wonder if I am cheating myself. I had never thought of it as bigotry, I just thought I can’t stand the shows they watch, or American football makes no sense so I have nothing in common to talk about. I just thought I was different, not a bigot.
    Now when it comes to the World Cup I’ve never had trouble. I root for the U.S., the UK since Canada never gets in, Brazil (my wife’s other culture), Mexico, Germany and whoever plays against France in that order. Holding two passports has helped in that regard.

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  3. I am a TCK married to a TCK raising TCKs… Maybe this isn’t quite what this post is about, but one factor that I think affects discussions about passport countries and countries of birth/childhood/etc is a misperception of loyalty. I think TCKs sometimes think that appreciating something/someone in their passport country is being disloyal to the country of their heart. The situation is compounded if a person from their passport country accuses them of not being patriotic or loyal to their passport country if they are not (fill in the blank…for example cheering for the USA in the World Cup…)

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    1. Yes! This so resonates and I think it is one of the themes explored in this piece. I was speaking with three friends today – one from Nicaragua,one from Brazil, one from Ethiopia and we were talking about this. I wrote this piece last year, exploring the idea of loyalty. When You Realize You Can Love Two Places and Not be Disloyal | Communicating.Across.Boundaries
      https://communicatingacrossboundariesblog.com/2014/07/14/when-you-realize-you-can-love-two-places-and-not-be-disloyal/ your comment made me go back and read the piece and be reminded of our capacity to love. Thank you!

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  4. I’m not a TCK, but have lived overseas extensively as an adult and I certainly have been tempted to look down my nose at those who are not widely traveled. It was only when I repatriated that I realized I only did that with people in my home countries (I consider I have 2 of them) and in fact most of the people I had found fascinating in my host countries were not widely traveled either. After a lot of thought I realized that the difference was that I had made time to listen to the stories of those “fascinating” friends and so I resolved to try and do the same with those I met “back home.” It has certainly helped, learning not to judge people until you’ve heard their “story.” Everyone has led fascinating lives, if only you take the time to ask questions and listen.

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  5. I remember when I returned to the UK that I really struggled with feeling like an outsider. It wasn’t peoples lack of travel experience that I judged, for me it was people’s materialism and squandering of money. It took me a long time to not resent people for wanting frivolous things. It was such a contrast from living amongst a tribe that had little material possessions but shared all they had. It took me a long time to realise that whatever other people do it is not my place to judge. Getting to know people better helped me begin to realise you can have possessions and still care about those in poverty. As I became more settled here I found I too wanted to own things. It has taken me even longer to accept that wanting material possessions doesn’t make me a bad person and isn’t an insult to the tribe I grew up with.

    The other thing I felt superior about, and I cringe admitting this, was my Christianity. Coming from MCS and the mission field I was used to being surrounded by people who were hugely committed to having servant hearts and to living lives where their religious convictions were clear. I remember looking at my peers and thinking “what have you sacrificed to spread the gospel?” The church we returned to here was mainly Christians who didn’t feel they had a calling and didn’t seem to publically declare their faith other than on a Sunday within the confines of the church building. This delusion that I was a paragon of virtue quickly fell away when I hit my teens. I became accutely embarrassed about being an MK, was sick of being bullied and ridiculed by my mainly atheist class mates and I became, what I can only describe as, in no way a good example of living Christianity. Once I hit young adulthood and I got down from my high horse I was able to make lasting friendships. Ironically I found my most enduring friendships amongst the non-christians I so easily dismissed and despised. My group of friends have taught me so much about true humility and acceptance. It is within the spaces created by our differences that I’ve learnt to love unconditionally and have felt accepted for exactly who I am.

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    1. Jo – thank you so much for this thoughtful comment. Your story resonates — I too found great acceptance in people who did not share my faith and learn so much from them. It takes a lot of humility to walk this road and admit where we went wrong. Thank you for sharing.

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  6. Okay. I don’t think anybody has mentioned this, but I think it’s part of the problem: the missionary pedestal. In the family I grew up in, overseas missionary work was The Very Best Thing we could Do For God. Missionary work was more valuable. More important. More vital. Missionary work required huge sacrifices, which we were willing to make. (Unlike others.) We had Answered The Call. (Unlike others.) I think when you make a particular job out to be God’s finest will, and you yourself are doing that most excellent job, then it’s one short step to scorn for the people who don’t do that job.

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    1. This is such an important comment Kay. When we lived in Cairo, we always felt spiritually inferior because we weren’t with a mission organization. That’s a problem. We really struggled and had to honestly admit our feelings/frustrations. And “The Call” is responsible for so much discouragement, for people staying where they shouldn’t stay, and for not recognizing that The Call in capital letters is to God Himself. Not to a place.

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  7. This is a very thoughtful discussion. I am not a TCK although as an adult I have lived outside my passport country. The FIGT conference this past weekend was such a learning experience. I walked away with the realization that whilst it is in our similarities (whatever they may be) that we find connection with others it is in our differences that we find opportunities for learning and growth. We need to be open to all these opportunities and not limit ourselves.

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    1. I love that reposting this opened up the discussion again. It’s interesting, when Grant shared in the panel of dudes about a ‘one world government’ I thought – that sounds so horrific, because though I might initially rebel, I love how I grow when I am confronted with people who think differently, who challenge me on what I think. Thanks for joining this. Also — you’re a third culture adult :)

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  8. Oh my goodness, YES. I do not have the extensive TCK experience you have, but I have my bigotry nonetheless. Even in the past two years, I have judged people for some very poor reasons. Then, when I got to know them, all my pre-conceived ideas flew out the window, and I discovered that I loved them. I was heartbroken when I realized what I had done. And this is not the first time I have done that, either. :( I initially disliked my best friend in college, for some very stupid reasons (we are still good friends). So I really related to your statements about relationship destroying bigotry. Sigh. Maybe next time it will be different . . . maybe next time *I* will be different. ~Elizabeth

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  9. I think the bottom line is what we do with our “TCKness”. Yes, there can be pride or bigotry and repenting of that is a first step, but then we need to be move toward thankfulness and action. I have not always felt this way but I have slowly come to see my ability to have one foot in 2 or 3 cultures as a gift from God, a gift He wants me to use for His glory, just as any other gift or ability. It’s not always easy – reaching out to other TCKs, helping international students, bringing a multi-cultural perspective to a discussion, writing a blog such as this (thank you, Marilyn, for sharing your gift with us!)… etc.. in whatever form it takes, a gift offered back in humility and thanksgiving to God.

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    1. Gail- I appreciate this comment so much. You’ve articulated much of what the last ten+ years have been for me. Moving forward after repenting, hearing, really hearing the stories of those around me — whether they be immigrants, refugees, or white Americans. And embracing the TCK piece for what it is and isn’t. Thanks for this comment and your words.

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  10. Bigotry , maybe some comes from a sense of insecurity, taking pride in the fact we are not like others, somehow our multi culture experiences have made us rise above the “normal and mundane” of the person that lies their whole life in a town in just one country….I have come to see we all have a story , and we can all learn from anyone if we are just open and willing, me, I am just a pilgrim on a journey, the more I learn the less I know, and I find myself simply glad to be alive……. Maybe I have it all wrong, but that would not be a first……. Has been a challenging and interesting going thru this blog…and for Stanley…..I count him as a fine fellow…and I treasure his thoughts and friendship, and Marilyn for providing this space in the cosmos to read and learn.

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    1. Tim – when I saw this comment and got your message you made my day. I have missed connecting with you through social media! Thanks for your thoughts. You’ve described what happened to me…..slowly by slowly realizing we all have a story and I too feel like such a sojourner in this space. Got to see Stan in Istanbul when we were there in April as he and his wife were traveling through as well. So wonderful. I am pressing him to start a photography blog so his photography can enjoy a wider audience. Again – thank you for connecting today. There is something about old friends…..

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      1. The thrill is mine, it is good to be challenged to think beyond the daily experiences of life , to link again with those that had such a part of me being who I am today. I think back to our times at MCS’s so often.

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  11. This is a great subject which I haven’t considered, deeply, though I should. I’ve lived in Japan for 6 years and seemed to “adjust” in my own bubble. Though I would have done better w/someone else to give me feedback on a daily basis. I mostly lived alone while there. Am currently in the States. Now that I’m married and have 5 children of bicultural descent I’m thinking of how they are “adjusting” though I would simply put it “living.” By most metrics of life they’re doing fine and me too as long as we stay close to our Savior and depend on His strength. Is that too simplistic? I don’t think so. He is the way, the truth and the life–it’s really all about Him.

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  12. everybody is prone to pride, tcks are no different, it just sometimes expresses itself in this way. when living in a different culture, everyone goes through some sort of culture shock, even tcks, and there is always contempt for the culture other than your own. In PNG I was critical of PNG culture, in the US I am critical of american culture because in many ways I can stand outside the culture and criticize its flaws. This can actually be a really big problem and is often what causes tcks to have problems adjusting, its not that they cant, they just don’t want to. in my opinion a mature tck is one that uses their ability to adjust to a culture as a way to connect with other people just like you would use knowledgw of another language. they dont let their criticisms get in the way of relationship, but use their insights to provide a much needed alternative point of view that helps transform culture instead of merely criticizing it. At my school (wheaton college) i am involved in mukappa because i think it is important for tcks to have a complete identity because of the valuable skills and insights that they posses.

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    1. Peter, you have made some very good and valid observations and remarks, especially, “in my opinion a mature tck is one that uses their ability to adjust to a culture as a way to connect with other people just like you would use knowledge of another language. They don’t let their criticisms get in the way of relationship, but use their insights to provide much needed alternative point of view that helps transform culture instead of merely criticizing it.” In our global and mobile world, TCKs (speaking primarily of missionary kids) are not alone in facing these issues. Bigotry is prevalent across all cultures. Probably stems from ignorance of another and the unwillingness to learn from those different from us. Good discussions.

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    2. This comment reminds me of the one that started this whole post. I really appreciate your input. I too love what you say about a “mature tck”. I wonder though, what makes a mature TCK? Why is it that some can adjust and “mature” far quicker than others? My guess is some of it is personality, but not all. I also appreciate your statement of bigotry being present across all cultures. What is interesting is when we pick this up from both our passport and adopted cultures making even the bigotry that much more complicated and interesting! Thanks for coming by.

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  13. So, to all who are reading this, what would be your top recommendation for implementing this in a classroom/school setting? I currently work at an MK school in SE Asia, but I’m not a TCK so I’ve done a lot of observing and asking questions about what goes through the mind of my students. The bigotry mentioned here runs rampant on our campus and often it’s hand-in-hand with some of the most racially insensitive and politically incorrect phrases I’ve ever heard, but I’ve not found an approach that the kids can “hear” that doesn’t also make me look like a bigot since I’m not a TCK. What can I do to help my students? What can I do to gain a better understanding?

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    1. Jacque – this is an excellent and practical question. First off it sounds like you already have an understanding. I wonder if two topics could be explored hand in hand – that of feeling ‘other’ or ‘different’ in their passport countries and that of the subconscious prejudice that can result from this. The quote from my brother in this article could be a good thing to start with. Put the quote up on a white board or power point. Tell them it’s from a tck who grew up in Pakistan, lived in Kenya and Kazakhstan and goes back and forth now between Denver and Kazakhstan. See what their reactions are to the article – when they’ve gone back to their passport countries have they noticed this in themselves at all – and go from there. Another thought: Could you have a panel of third culture kids who are just a bit older than them who could speak to re-entry and have this be one of the topics? In terms of the racial insensitivity and politically incorrect speech. Start with where they are – elicit a list from them of the words that are taboo in the current cultures they live in. Is it “son of a pig”? is it slurs about people’s mothers? Then ask why they’re taboo. Move from there to what is taboo in your culture and why it’s taboo. Acknowledge that political correct speech is indeed a social construct and when they form relationships they can challenge the current obsession with politically correct speech but also point out the difference between racial insensitivity and politically correct speech. One can work on being racially sensitive and yet call out political correctness for what it sometimes is and that is a barrier to true communication about some of these issues. I feel your heart in this comment – it’s clear you love these kids but are troubled by some of what you’re seeing. I’d love to continue the dialogue more and would love to bring a couple of others into it. If you look below here and see Sherylo’s comment – she’s done a ton of work with TCK’s and has some great wisdom to share. With your permission I’d love to pass this comment on to her – or even use it in follow up post. What are your thoughts? So glad you brought this up.

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      1. Absolutely — share away. I’m very open to input. I think the other major challenge wrapped into all of this is that most of my students are teenagers (and very normal teenagers at that, whatever “normal” is…). Our school has tried to bring in panels of kids to talk about transition, “the real world,” racism and how language has power, our identity in Christ and why the country you live in has very little to do with who God is, etc. But all of these pro-active things are often met with the typical teenager “okay, yeah, whatever,” (unless we’re talking about dating, haha.).
        Only occasionally do we get students who hang on the every word of wisdom shared with them in settings designed specifically for them because they often express things like, “Yeah, we’ve heard this before.” I had one of my brightest students tell me, “Ms. Olson, I know it’s like important to be politically correct, but it’s so boring and stupid. Why can’t we just say what we mean? It’s so annoying that people get offended.” While I partially agree, I also know of many friends who’ve failed papers and been kicked out of class for using incorrect terms and I want her to be prepared for that reality.
        It’s not until about 4th quarter that students, particularly seniors, start thinking, “Oh crud, I’m moving again in a month,” and by then it’s almost too late for them to really absorb what we’ve been trying to tell them. My colleagues and I are constantly brainstorming ways to bring this up before the 4th quarter freak-outs, but like anything else, we can’t force our students to learn if they don’t want to. What can I do?

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  14. I am still a College First Year TCK, and honestly have just come to terms with the fact that I am, in a way, prejudiced because I spread the “Gospel of traveling” to everyone I meet. I had never known that I was prejudiced against those who hadn’t travelled, but after further introspection and a little cognitive dissonance, I realized that I tend to have more respect for people who have travelled frequently. Unfortunately, I am disgusted with myself and am going through a little shift in attitude. Although it is uncomfortable when the fingers are pointing back at you, I realize that my change in attitude will allow room for better change and better relationships with my peers at college. Instead of admonishing their ignorance, I could learn a few lessons from their heavy geographic stability, and in turn, instill my love of traveling and flexibility while respecting the fact that it may not be for everyone.

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    1. Kiyetet – you are SO much farther along than I was ater a year of being in my passport country. I love your words “the gospel of traveling”. That describes me perfectly. The hard thing is – I really do think we all benefit from travel and living in a place where we face challenges to who we are and how we think….but as I said – the problem comes when I use it as a weapon and excuse. So that’s why I love your concluding sentence. Thank you so much for coming by.

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  15. I grew up in urban Australia, under the influence of my father’s extreme prejudice against indigenous Australians. Before going to live in an Aboriginal community as an adult, I confessed my prejudice & asked my church family to pray that I would learn to love “Aboriginal people”. I didn’t. I learned to love June and Stephanie, Peterson and Wurrip, to be disgusted by the behaviour of others, (some of them friends), hurt by some, to ache for the children and love little Jethro (though not so much when he taught my son how to turn a frog inside out) – I learnt relationship

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    1. This. This is the truest comment about prejudice and bigotry. You l”earnt relationship”. I love this. I want to use this in my wrapping up the week post. Thank you.

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  16. My mind is going in so many different directions all at the same time . . . so let’s see if I can make something coherent from the jumble.

    I think relationship changes everything. I love Anne’s story. It’s so rich!

    I think perspective changes everything, too. A few years ago I sat around a fire pit with a bunch of TCK teens from all over the world. I asked them what they loved about their nations that haven’t issued them passports. After a while the love for their nations turned into America bashing. Of course there were some valid points, but bigotry burped out of them like they’d just downed 2 litres of soda. I finally had to remind them that the nation and the people they were bashing made their expat lives possible. Sobriety descended pretty quickly. Then I asked them what they liked about their passport country. That opened up lots of excellent discussion. We followed that with what needed redeeming in their host countries–more excellent discussion.

    And then there’s gratitude. It’s another game changer. I just challenged a college aged friend who’s struggling with contentment in America (and leaving the States for the next 6 months) to look for the things life in America provides that the countries she’ll be living in don’t even think about–and vice versa. Finding things to appreciate where you are doesn’t divide loyalty. It should multiply it.

    The whole hidden immigrant thing . . . I think it’s exacerbated by not approaching one’s passport culture with a learner’s posture. It’s easy to think, “This is my country (more or less), I know it.” When in fact, you really are an immigrant and don’t know it. Learning to use all those wonderful skills of observation and suspending judgment in one’s passport culture/s, is just as important as using them elsewhere.

    Whew.

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    1. Wow – so much wisdom and insight here Sherry – thank you so much. The immigrant piece is so true. I wish there had been more written on that when I came to the United States. I think our immigrant conversation has changed in general to be more at the forefront than it has in the past and with it and the studies that have been done on refugees and immigrants we can learn more about the hidden immigrant experience. Gratitude – I love that you mention this as a game changer but you also spoke to one of our deep-seated, oft unspoken fears – divided loyalty. If I begin doing well ‘here’, it means that I won’t be able to keep what I love about ‘there’. I’ve seen it in myself, I’ve seen it in my kids and I still think there is a lot more to be explored in that area. Lastly your word picture for bigotry burping out of TCK’s is amazing. That’s it. That’s been me in the past. And but for Grace would still be me. Thank you thank you. This comment needed to be read with coffee and scones – it was that good.

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  17. This is a brilliant post! Thank you for showing this side of being TCK or ATCK (or expat). I have to work on this too and did my first step by joining a German group in order to get to know the people better and to finally appreciate the fact that I’m German (I always felt ashamed to have this nationality as being a German expat is not the best thing here in Europe – I wrote a post about this). – It’s so true, we have to “re-learn the value of relationships” and to stop being judgmental or to prejudice others. I’ve experienced disdaining comments towards Germans from my friends and when I reminded them that I’m German (and obviously felt hurt by the comments) they said “yes, but you’re different”…

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    1. I love the “Yes, but you’re different….” comment. Funny how that translates across cultures and languages. I am going straight to your site to read your post on being a German expat. That is so interesting and a perspective I’ve never heard. Thank you for reading and also for your kind words – It’s one of those posts that you hold your breath while you hit ‘publish’….!

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  18. This is so good. You do not have to be a TCK to experience this. I have found myself and members of our family to look with pity on someone who has never ventured out of this corner of our world and sometimes think we are better for our exposure to the world at our doorstep with some added travel as a bonus. Very convicting. Relationship and hearing another’s story brings us all on an equal plain. Thanks!

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    1. It does level the playing field doesn’t it – and I agree, you can be from anywhere and any experience to learn about relationships being the antidote to bigotry. Thanks Lou Ann!

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  19. This reminds me of how immigrants also learn, (hopefully), to lose their bigotry when they are forced to rub elbows with people from “enemy” countries. Yesterday, one of my son’s teachers was telling me how she was taught about Gandhi to a group of 1st graders, some of whom were from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. A Pakistani boy said, “My parents said that we aren’t supposed to like people from India,” to which she replied, “Did you know that your classmate sitting next to you is Indian?” The boy then replied that since his friend was nice then all Indians must be nice. Hopefully this didn’t cause major problems at home, but he never would have learned this lesson if he hadn’t been forced to be in the same classroom with people who were different from him.

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    1. Great story Anne! I watch the same thing with health care providers who are way older than the kids you wrote about. And some of the same thing happens with them. When they are willing to sit down and listen and suspend judgement, they begin to like first an individual patient, then a family, and slowly an entire community. It’s not over night, it’s a slow process but it does happen!

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  20. Good post on a worthy topic! This is something that has bothered me about the attitude of some TCKs for quite some time–and when I’ve seen it in myself.

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  21. I think we have to learn to Suspend Judgement! It’s crucial to finding healing from this. As we suspend judgement and imagine what the other’s story is, or even better, get to know the other’s story we have the joy of emphathy and we’ve begun to nip the bigotry in the bud….does this make sense?
    Good post Marilyn…. Thanks for starting the conversation Stan.

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