A Little Language, Culture and History

Being overseas for work this week has reminded me most about one thing: diversity matters.

Not just accepting peoples’ viewpoints as valid or fact, but remembering that we all come from different backgrounds and places… and that’s okay.

I’ve spent a week in my company’s global headquarters this week, and while it’s not in the heart of London, it is very diverse. Living where I live in the States, I miss out on the languages, cultures and history that I am able to experience here.

In the matter of a day, I hear German, Spanish, Italian, French, Swedish, and Portuguese spoken in the office. Truthfully, that is only the tip of the iceberg as there are many more languages heard on the streets. On top of that, this is not even London — where I would imagine would be where I’m at times 10!

This.

Upon arrival, I spent an afternoon doing my own “London-in-a-Day” micro-trip. Short, but sweet — History and culture jam-packed into my own little 7-hour mini-adventure!

As I still process some of the things I heard at The Orange Conference last week, I am reminded about the importance of relaying these experiences to my own children. Living where we live (suburban ATL), it is easy to stay put and interact with those similar. It could be months before you hear another language spoken… and I’m not sure how I feel about that. In a sense, I feel compelled to make sure I intentionally put my kids in situations where they are exposed to other people, cultures, languages, etc.

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ.” (Gal 3:28)

And not just to give them a “good experience”, but to ultimately show them that we are all the same — as JFK said, “…our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air.” And in the end, we are all in need of the same great God.

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Where have you experienced the most “diversity/culture” in your own life?

3 Responses to “A Little Language, Culture and History”

  1. rachelle May 5, 2012 at 8:51 pm #

    Growing up in Philadelphia I got used to hearing various languages spoken when walking down the street, on the bus, on the subway and in stores/restaurants. I didn’t realize I was so used to this until I visited parts of New England and some Southern states. I’m extremely grateful for this exposure because it allowed me to be a better traveller and appreciative of different cultures. I remember when I was living abroad I was so used to not hearing English that I’d go into shock when I went to the UK to visit my friends. Hearing English everywhere was shocking, despite hearing the various languages while going up and down the streets. It amazes me every time to see how diverse our world is, yet we have the same Creator and He strategically designed all of it!

    Are you going to have your girls learn a language while they’re young? Hope you enjoyed your stay in the UK!

  2. Jason Vana May 6, 2012 at 6:53 pm #

    I get that same feeling every time I travel to Europe. I live in a rinky-dink town in the middle of the cornfields of western Illinois. There is no culture and diversity here, minus on the college campuses. My students help me be diverse, as we have a lot of diversity in our ministry. It’s awesome that way.

  3. Moe May 7, 2012 at 10:08 am #

    Living in NYC, AKA the melting pot, I get a little of all things. I love it. One of the reasons why I love NYC so much. Unlike most places, we are not the minority. I’ve been other places and I’ve seen what discrimination looks like and it’s not pretty. Diversity is beautiful and special. That’s the way we should treat it.

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