An East-West Conversation

"So - your parents chose your husband for you."  The women speaking to me was not posing a question; she was making a statement. I took a breath, not sure of how to respond. No, my parents did not choose my husband. Cliff and I met in Chicago and realized after a short time that … Continue reading An East-West Conversation

An Old Love

Every night before they went to sleep, my dad would kiss my mom. Even during his final month of life, when he was feeling weaker by the day, the last thing my dad did before he fell asleep was kiss my mom goodnight. They would pray and then he would kiss her. He knew that … Continue reading An Old Love

Amphibians, Chameleons, and Cross Cultural Kids

"But those people who are fishes out of water were often the most vibrant ones in the room. I’ve begun to recognize a social type, the Amphibians — people who can thrive in radically different environments." David Brooks "The Rise of the Amphibians" In a recent article in the New York Times, David Brooks writes … Continue reading Amphibians, Chameleons, and Cross Cultural Kids

A Valentine’s Day Warning: Don’t Let Corporate America Dictate What Love Is

Happy Valentine's Day! I have mixed feelings about the day, but there's one thing I know. It is far too easy to let corporate America dictate what love is to the eager masses. For weeks we have not been able to escape glossy images and advertisements about true love and how it's best expressed through … Continue reading A Valentine’s Day Warning: Don’t Let Corporate America Dictate What Love Is

No Better Place Than This…

"Third culture kids, immigrants, refugees, foreigners." "We find each other in unlikely spaces. In the shared experience of other, we find belonging and rest, whether in a short ride to an airport or a long-distance phone conversation. These moments of connection seem to come at the right time, sustaining us until the next encounter, preventing us from … Continue reading No Better Place Than This…

“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