Quotes on “Third Culture Kids”

journey-of-grace

The study of the third culture kid perspective is not static. Every year, new information and quotes can be found. I’ve compiled this short list of TCK quotes for you today. There are many, many more – but these are some that I have gathered or written the past few years. Please add to this list in the comment section! 

“A British child taking toddling steps on foreign soil or speaking his or her firstwords in Chinese with an amah (nanny) has no idea of what it means to be human yet, let alone ‘British.’ He or she simply responds to what is happening in the moment” (Pollock and Van Reken, 2001)

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One of the quickest ways to damage the heart of a TCK is to outlaw negative emotions (grief, anger, disappointment, etc.). Tell them they shouldn’t feel something, or that they just need to suck it up, or that their feelings show a lack of gratefulness. Yup, that’ll do it. But, and this is the great part, allowing a TCK to experience the full range of emotions is one of the most caring things you can do. It’s also one of the healthiest things you can do. – Jonathan Trotter in 3 Ways to Care for the Heart of Your TCK

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“A global soul is a person who had grown up in many cultures all at once – and so lived in the cracks between them.”– Pico Iyer

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The journeying reality of the adult third culture kid is connecting our multicultural past with something that feels meaningful; connecting our invisible skills to a visible occupation.- Marilyn Gardner

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Sometimes it’s very confusing, not knowing where you belong, or not belonging anywhere but feeling that you should. Other times I feel history’s breath on my back and I wonder about the ways that everything got woven together for me to be where I am now.” – Olga Mecking

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“The answer to the question of how long it takes them to adjust to American life is: they never adjust. They adapt, they find niches, they take risks, they fail and pick themselves up again. They succeed in jobs they have created to fit their particular talents, they locate friends with whom they can share some of their interests, but they resist being encapsulated. Their camouflaged exteriors and understated ways of presenting themselves hide the rich inner lives, remarkable talents, and often strongly held contradictory opinions on the world at large and the world at hand.” – Dr. Ruth Useem

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“Seeing a world we loved disappear out a tiny airplane window as the plane lifts off and flies away. If we’re lucky, it circles once so we can take a last full look at a place we once called home.” – Jennie Legate

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“Our generation is in need of voices with storied backgrounds. TCKs who participate in a faith community are equipped to bring about a certain vitality and prophetic voice. They embody a different story to congregations with a single narrative. In this fast paced society of sound bytes and noise, we need the sharpened clarity brought by multiple cultural lenses, a valued asset TCKs possess. They live outside the box, upset the status quo, captivate larger dreams, and compel those around us to examine preconceived notions and to live with deeper integrity and passion.” – Cindy Brandt in Third Culture Kids in the World of Faith

so, here you are. Too foreign for home, too foreign for here. never enough for both. – ijeoma umebinyuo

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There are a group of us who bear no identifying marks. We don’t have the same accent, we don’t pronounce or even necessarily spell words the same way. We can’t tell one another at first glance. We don’t wear the “home team” t-shirt.But when we meet, and we know we’ve met, it’s like we’re from the same place. We greet each other, we carry on, we tell stories, we laugh wholeheartedly. It doesn’t matter the age difference, the nationality, the gender. We connect. – Robynn Bliss in TCK Reunions – An Invisible Bond

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“No generation before now has had so many of its members simultaneously living in, between, and among countless cultural worlds as is happening today.” – Lois Bushong

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“Any third culture kid who lives effectively in her passport country has a moment of truth when she realizes it’s okay to live here; it’s okay to adjust; it’s okay, even if she never feels fully at home, to feel a level of comfort in who she is in her passport country. To adapt doesn’t mean settling for second best. To adapt is to use the gifts she developed through her childhood in order to transcend cultures and to find her niche in both worlds.” – Between Worlds: Essays on Culture and Belonging

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“Our homes are not defined by geography or one particular location, but by memories, events, people and places that span the globe.” – Marilyn Gardner

What quotes about TCKs do you love? Please join the conversation in the comment section! 

Resource: Top Ten Tips for Counseling Third Culture Kids

Good Quotes to Get you Through Election Day 2016

“Someone is going to win Tuesday and then, if trendlines that have proved reliable in the past continue, the sun will come up on Wednesday.” Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal

Yesterday I walked through the leaves at twilight and knew that all would be well

“It’s easy to get pessimistic right now. Lots of powerful forces in early-twenty-first-century America seem to be turning against us. It’s good to remember, therefore, that God takes the way of particularity. Our increasingly secular cultural and political regimes have little in the way of new life in them. Cynicism and careerism disfigure many talented young people today. These are not qualities pregnant with a vital future for the West. It will be those few who are looking upward, those who have a sense of the transcendent possibilities, who will be able to lead us toward something new, something culturally alive.”

– R.R. Reno (First Things, December 2016)

“A closing thought: God is in charge of history. He asks us to work, to try, to pour ourselves out to make things better. But he is an actor in history also. He chastises and rescues, he intervenes in ways seen and unseen. Or chooses not to.

Twenty sixteen looks to me like a chastisement. He’s trying to get our attention. We have candidates we can’t be proud of. We must choose among the embarrassments. What might we be doing as a nation and a people that would have earned this moment?” Peggy Noonan WSJ

“Toblerone has gotten smaller because of Brexit” NPR Marketplace 

I overheard my nine-year-old daughter scolding her little brother. Her admonition should be a motto for everyone in business, politics, media, entertainment, and the arts: ‘Don’t believe everything you say.'” PJ O’Rourke


“So inveterate is their appetite for Heaven that our best method, at this stage, of attaching them to earth is to make them believe that earth can be turned into Heaven at some future date by politics or eugenics or “science” or psychology, or what not.” C.S.Lewis in Screwtape Letters

Finally – from my friend Jonathan Trotter:

God Bless America!

and Syria!

and Ghana!

and Venezuela!

and Russia!

and China!

and New Zealand!

and Germany!

and Greece!

and Somalia!

and Brazil!

and Panama!

and Afghanistan!

and Cambodia!

and Pakistan!

and Tanzania!

and Canada!

and Iran!

and Israel!

God bless the people we like and the people we don’t!

God bless the people who like us and the people who don’t!

And at the end of the day, may we all remember the astounding truth that God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son.


Saturday Travel Quote – From An Adventure a Day

I love this travel quote from a reader and blogger who writes at An Adventure a Day. How could I not love someone who writes a blog by that name?! She says this about the quote:

There are just so many wonderful travel quotes to choose from! I do really like this one from the travel writer Frey Stark – “The true fruit of travel is perhaps the feeling of being nearly everywhere at home”

fruit of travelYou can read more about this blogger by heading to her blog. She says this in the intro: ”

“The idea for this blog came after talking to my husband about the difficulty of assimilation into a new culture. I felt more prepared than most people when they head to a foreign country. While I didn’t speak the language, I had studied the history, the culture, and the theories of international communication. I’ll be fine right? Well, yes and no……This is a collection of my stories. My adventures, the way I see things and the world. This is not chronological progression. These are my travels and adventures through the lens of my experience.”

Have a great weekend and keep the travel quotes coming. Your own or those of others that you have read, heard, and love.

Summer Rest

idle moments

It’s summer and with it comes a chance to change things around, to do things a bit differently, to live out of the ordinary, to REST! I fear that if I don’t take this time then in a blink fall colors will roll in and I’ll scream up to the trees and the heavens – “It’s too soon! Give me back summer!” To this end I have compiled some quotes on rest – so today, a Thursday and the end of the week for many – may you bask in these quotes and take them to heart.

Life is too short to go crazy with busy.

“Every person needs to take one day away.  A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future.  Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence.  Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for.  Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.” ― Maya Angelou, Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now

Busy has become like a security blanket. We wrap it tightly around us so that we can justify our existence. from The Security Blanket of Busy

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” ― John Lubbock, The Use Of Life

“We live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence, and private: and therefore starved for meditation and true friendship.” C.S. Lewis

“I think I need some idle moments. In idle moments I can step back and “see the whole” not just the fragmented parts. In idle moments I can gain wisdom and a heart for people. In idle moments I can hear God.” – from In Praise of Idle Moments

“Because the culture we breathe and work in rushes against rest. It equates our worth with production and wealth and fame. The more we work toward those goals, the more society assigns us worth.” ― Mary E. DeMuth, Everything: What You Give and What You Gain to Become Like Jesus

“Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.” ― Augustine of Hippo, The Confessions of Saint Augustine

Thank God for Tea!

Thank God for Tea

I was raised on tea. From early in life the day could be marked by two things : the call to prayer and tea time.

At home it was morning tea with breakfast and afternoon tea with Nice or Digestive biscuits. At school it was robust desi chai that made up for the terrible boarding school food.

No matter the day everything felt better after you had tea.

And then I had my own family.

Beginning in early fall, when twilight comes early and the golden glow of autumn colors our world, we begin to have evening tea time.

Just like growing up, tea is a ritual that marks the day.

Around 9 pm, whoever is in the house at the time gathers and we drink tea out of sturdy mugs. It could be Earl Grey tea with its oil of bergamot distinctive flavor. It could be mint tea. It could be regular– which for us means a strong Irish Breakfast tea. It could be a fruity passion tea. No matter the kind it’s tea and we are gathered together.

The day could have held sorrow or joy, tears or anger, frustration or impatience — or perhaps all of those things. We still gather for tea.

And so I love this picture, taken at our cottage in Rockport. And I love the quote on the picture as well. Because something remarkable happens when you sit down for a cup of tea.

Thanks so much for being a part of Communicating Across Boundaries and today may you have the joy of drinking tea.

Photo courtesy of Stefanie Sevim Gardner/Word art by Marilyn Gardner