“This is My Fate” – A Lesson in Cultural Humility

As soon as the angry words came out of my mouth, I regretted them. I was speaking to Rehmet, the woman who helped me care for my kids and my home. She was a Punjabi woman, uneducated, illiterate, with a smile that stretched across a beautiful, weathered face and a personality as big as her … Continue reading “This is My Fate” – A Lesson in Cultural Humility

Dear Dorothy – A Letter to my Mother-in-Law

Tomorrow I will board a plane and travel to Florida for my mother-in-law's funeral. Since we found out last week, I have been thinking about death - how final it is, how permanent it seems, and how unreal it is until you are actually back in a place where the person lived. I read these … Continue reading Dear Dorothy – A Letter to my Mother-in-Law

When the Elephant in the Room is Bigger than the Turkey on the Table!

We here at Communicating Across Boundaries know that this might very well be an awkward holiday season for all of us. Families divided must now come back together around the Thanksgiving table. What on earth are we going to talk about? Here are a few suggestions to promote pre-Christmas “Peace on Earth” and “Goodwill toward … Continue reading When the Elephant in the Room is Bigger than the Turkey on the Table!

Loving People Well – Djibouti Jones

Readers, I'm sending you over to Djibouti Jones this morning. She has written a beautiful "post U.S. Election" piece called Loving People Well. Here is a just a taste of her beautiful piece: What does it look like to love well? Listen to broken hearts, serve the needy, give up my tendency toward greed so … Continue reading Loving People Well – Djibouti Jones

Widening Our Embrace

Ronald Rohlheiser, in his book, Sacred Fire, addressed especially to older pursuers of the faith has a short section entitled, “Be Wide in Your Embrace.” We are constantly being overwhelmed by otherness. Nothing is safe for long. More than any previous generation, we are being stretched beyond what is familiar. Often that is painful and … Continue reading Widening Our Embrace

#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, … Continue reading #Hashtags and Relationships

Get a Life

"Oh, for God's sake...get a life, will you?"--William Shatner   Connor left nearly a month ago to return to the University of British Columbia. As he and Lowell pulled away from the house I felt the bottle of grief shaken within me lose its scarcely screwed on lid. Before I knew it I was drenched, … Continue reading Get a Life

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 … Continue reading Exploring Third Culture Kid Bigotry – A Repost

Love Goes the Extra Mile

We've just come back from a family vacation where we spent seven nights near the Smoky Mountains in northern Tennessee. Every morning we woke up to far off frothy fogs rising up between the hills and ridges across the horizon. Every evening we watched the sun's benediction settle over and under and behind the mountains. … Continue reading Love Goes the Extra Mile

On Belonging

Recently I watched a group of younger colleagues. They seemed so at home with each other, so comfortable.  Like pieces in a puzzle, they all fit. There was without doubt some diversity among them, but they spoke the same language, had the same Masters of Public Health (MPH) after their names, had gone to similar colleges, … Continue reading On Belonging

Pondering Privilege – a Book Review

Pondering Privilege - Toward a Deeper Understanding of Whiteness, Race, and Faith* by Jody Wiley Fernando could not come to us at a better time. As media and newsfeeds fill with images and stories, many of us who are white really want to know how to do things better. Many of us, as uncomfortable as it is, … Continue reading Pondering Privilege – a Book Review

TCK Reunions – An Invisible Bond

TCK Reunions—an invisible bond by Robynn “A Third Culture Kid (TCK) is a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside the parents’ culture. The TCK frequently builds relationships to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. Although elements from each culture may be assimilated … Continue reading TCK Reunions – An Invisible Bond

The Places we Belong

“The place to which you feel the strongest attachment isn’t necessarily the country you’re tied to by blood or birth: it’s the place that allows you to become yourself. This place may not lie on any map.” – Jhumpa Lahiri On Saturday we celebrated my father's 90th birthday. 90 years! It is incredible to think … Continue reading The Places we Belong

A Challenge to Christians During Ramadan

I am on the mailing list of a large mosque in the Roxbury area of Boston. While Egypt's minarets give us a journey through history and Turkey boasts Ottoman style mosques, the mosque in Roxbury is modern. It sits across from Roxbury Community College, its dome and minaret smaller than those in the Muslim world. I've … Continue reading A Challenge to Christians During Ramadan

Summer Fun Ideas that Promote Sanity and Potentially a Wider View of the World

These are ideas for (mostly) free stuff that can happen anywhere in the world. Teenage daughters should take note. Go for a walk. Create a scavenger hunt in your house, backyard or courtyard. Make playdoh. Play with playdoh. Brainstorm strange flavours of pancakes…make the top three strangest even if it means making up the recipes! Make window … Continue reading Summer Fun Ideas that Promote Sanity and Potentially a Wider View of the World

On Making Recent History

I leave my Cambridge apartment mid-morning on a Friday. Usually I would be walking, but I am going to a store that is too far so I pull out of my driveway in our small, city car. The first person I see is our neighbor, Christopher. I wave and he waves back, a smile on … Continue reading On Making Recent History

Sibling Pride

I have remarkable siblings. I am the only girl in a family of five kids, fourth in the family line up with three older brothers and my youngest brother, the exclamation point on the sentence of our family. It is an understatement to say that my brothers are gifted. They are, without doubt, some of … Continue reading Sibling Pride