My cousin and his family have moved to China. He does something for the Marines which had him taking language classes in Southern California for a few years before making this move to China. I’m a bad cousin because I’m unclear exactly what he is doing there.
Anyway his family is writing about their journey in China. Its been interesting to read some of the culture shock he has encountered while over there.
This particular post is about the difference in money transactions China vs the US. What struck me most about this post was the last sentence, “You have to live in a place for long enough to be uncomfortable before you can understand it.”
How true is that?
How many missionaries, pastors and churches have alienated those they are trying to reach because they came in with preconcieved notions and assumptions about people and culture?
How many missionaries, pastors, and churches have succeeded in bringing the word and making change in areas where injustices were occurring because they chose to first immerse themselves in the culture?
I’m currently taking a Politics and Faith class (no matter how ass-backwards that may seem). I have to be honest I hate politics. I have spent most of my life trying to run from senate races and the hot-button issues that get everyone fired up because everyone believes they have the right answer. But I like this class. I like how we look at politics.
Some people in the class are staunch Republicans (which to my democrat nature is annoying) and their ideas on the hot-button issues make me cringe in my seat but they are not what the class is about.
We don’t sit in class and debate who has the right answers. When my ideas differ from those in the room I try not to get hung-up on that fact. I try to ignore what is the “right” way to vote because again that’s not what the class is about.
The class is more about movement within the system. How can we use a more-often-than-not corrupt system to make change?
Ever since the voting debacle (I think it was one of Clinton’s elections) of some year (when I was voting) and the popular vote was not even close to the electoral vote and the electoral won it I have believed that my vote does not matter.
I looked at that election and saw that people more important than myself were going to vote how they wanted to and that their vote really mattered. I saw that unless I made $$$$$$$$$$$$ my vote would never matter.
This class hasn’t really changed that for me. It has more or less changed how I view politics though.
It has changed how I view what my senators actually do and what people more important than I are doing.
It has made me more aware of my duty as a citizen. Voting in my mind has not changed. Whether I do it or not, my vote is of zero consequence (and if you believe I have it backwards feel free to let me know in a calm manner. Tell me how you think voting makes an impact. I’m eager to learn on this subject but so far no one has convinced me that my vote matters.) what does matter is checks and balances.
Injustices are occurring daily. Whether that be taxes or health care or laws, injustices are happening all around us and whether or not we choose to see that is on us.
I have every plan to create a non-profit for women that are sexually abused and part of that plan, that I just realized, will have me in political arenas. I may be standing behind people far more politically savvy than myself but some political savvy may be needed.
The point to all of this is, and yes there is a point, is in the political arena, I have become “uncomfortable enough to understand it.” I have become uncomfortable enough to move and change and to be more than someone sitting on the sidelines hoping for change.
I can pray for change all I want but I need to be more active. I need to be more serious about my beliefs. I need to push the issues that I believe are “kingdom issues.” I need to push the issues that are injustices covered in “laws” and “policies.”
I need to be more involved.
I feel a challenge rising up in me. I feel like making a challenge to you. Chap Clark would say I can make this challenge because as you have seen, I’m already challenging myself. So I’m gonna go with it even though I usually don’t do this sort of thing.
How in your life are you becoming uncomfortable enough with something to truly understand it and begin to make change?