#Hashtags and Relationships

It’s difficult to write today, but it would be worse to keep silent. “I don’t want to become a #hashtag. Becoming a #hashtag is a very real fear in my community.”  Yesterday at the end of a long and good meeting, a few of of us began talking. The conversation was around race and privilege, […]

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Exploring Third Culture Kid Bigotry – A Repost

“It’s one thing to criticize a culture. It’s another to see that the culture being criticized is formed partly in response to other cultures, and that those cultures are, in turn, worth criticizing. This is why explaining human behavior is so difficult: the buck never stops. The explanations don’t come to an obvious, final resting […]

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Good Stories Behind Bad Headlines

The headlines chase us down, taunting us with their urgency, telling us to how to respond. They never stop. We may sleep, but the headlines don’t.  And they don’t want us to – not really. The person who is first to share or tweet a story gets the prize. Behind the bad headlines are some […]

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A Little Humour–A Big Diffuser*

*Reader be warned: This post includes inadvertently inappropriate language.  Reader’s Digest marketed the old expression, “Laughter is the best medicine”. We used to have a stack of old Reader’s Digests in our house in Pakistan. I remember flipping first to the Laughter is the Best Medicine page. We’d read them out loud to each other […]

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How to Build a Bridge

In an old book titled Observations on the Re-building of London Bridge by John Seaward, he says this: It is generally acknowledged that the construction of a commodious bridge over a wide, impetuous river is one of the noblest efforts of human genius. In no country that has made any advances in civilization has the […]

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The Power of Words

I am grateful to my friend, Parry, for these beautiful and wise words of poetry. Parry is a Muslim woman who lives in Kuwait.  Of all weapons, the most lethal a potent poison, extremely fatal more dangerous than guns or swords Such is the power held by words. Words can blind and they can deceive, entangle […]

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The Heart Demands Conversation

“The heart does not want coffee or cafe, The heart demands conversation with friends, Coffee is the excuse in this case”* I smiled as I read this quote. It comes from a sign in a coffee shop in Antalya, Turkey and I intend to track it down at some point. The heart may not want […]

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Cultural Competency – Tools for the Trade

If you have not read the previous posts on Cultural Competency, you are welcome to take a look! Today is the last in my 3-part series on Cultural Competency. Forget Diversity! It’s Cultural Competency that we Need Cultural Competency – How does it Help ************ “It’s easy! All it takes is caring!”  “All you have to do […]

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Cultural Competency – How Does it Help?

Four years ago, the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) conducted a raid on a mosque in Miami, Florida. What could have been a disastrous, public relations nightmare for both the Muslim community and the FBI was carried out so well and so carefully that most of us had no idea the raid took place. I wrote […]

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State of the Blog

Every year I look back on blogging and write about it. I look to see what your favorite pieces were, I remember what my favorite pieces were, and I think about whether Communicating Across Boundaries should continue. Is it just white noise in an ever growing amount of word clutter across this thing we call the […]

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Who Made You the Spoon to Stir the Sugar in my Tea?

Idioms are a mystery and a delight! And until you know at least a couple of them, some of the nuances of a language and culture elude you. Recently I learned an idiom from a Yezidi teenager, a Kurdish idiom that I love. The girl was standing outside, casually chewing gum. A teenage boy looked […]

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Cross-cultural Connection

Recently I went to an outreach center in a different part of the city, a few blocks from the subway and behind the mosque in Roxbury. This area is perhaps the most diverse area in Boston. Here people from all over the world find their homes in apartments and houses. Residents are from Somalia, The Sudan, Ethiopia, Iraq, […]

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The Value in a Good Vent

The Value in a Good Vent by Robynn There are times when I feel I might explode! I’m furious. I’m so mad I might just this once really lose it. I had one of those times a month or so ago. I was so angry I was spitting nails. Just as quickly as the storm […]

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I’m Back

She’s BACK! Robynn is back and with it our regular Fridays with Robynn resumes. And I’m so happy……Enjoy!  I’m Back! Whenever Lowell comes home from work, from a long trip, from a coffee shop, from a walk to the library he announces his return with a question, “What’s going on in here?” The “what’s” is […]

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Guest Post – Finding Common Ground

Today I’m delighted to introduce you to Tayo Rockson through a guest post — Finding Common Ground. Tayo has a passion to see third culture kids use their diverse backgrounds to make a difference across many spheres of society and in early fall will be hosting a podcast featuring different third culture kids. He also […]

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The Security Blanket of Busy

Yesterday I shared a picture on Facebook that garnered a number of responses, and it got me thinking about our addiction to busy. It works something like this: You run into someone and the conversation goes this way: Hi! I haven’t seen you in a long time! How have you been?” “Oh, so busy! Life […]

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Tips for Working Cross-culturally in Health Care Settings and Beyond

Through my years of living, working, and communicating across cultural boundaries I’ve realized two things that sum it all up: one — this road is humbling and two – it’s a life-long learning process. Just when I think I have it all figured out, something, someone will come into my life and challenge my thinking and […]

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