As we travel through life, we hear and see many things.
Our life lesson is “how do we act‘?
I believe in many things. And I am sure you do too.
You have your standards. Your family traditions and upbringings.
Which I have learned through the years is….the roadmap!
The caveat to that is – do you continue that way?
Or do you take time to discover what your own values are?
I believe, as a culture, we have learned many beliefs have ‘absolute’ answers.
And if you get the answers wrong….you received a red check mark on your paper.
That is what it was like when you were in school.
But you are ‘grown up’ now. And are supposed to know all the answers.
What if the answers are changing??? Or if what we learned is really….wrong?
Actually I learned two valuable lessons within two weeks.
Lesson number one:
People can change an opinion – if willing – to see through a different lens.
If they listen to their gut or their intuition.
Deep down they may know that things might be different than they were brought up to believe.
That is growth, and I have great respect for growth and willingness to listen to something other than what we know.
Lesson number two:
I had the joy of meeting a woman in our leadership group a couple of weeks ago. The timing was perfect.
She had lived in Somalia. Moved to Saudi Arabia due to the conflict. And later moved to the United States.
She shared her story and answered all of our questions with such grace! There was no indifference. No animosity.
She was open to teach us what was real in her life experience.
And the lesson?
We can’t be afraid of someone just because their religious beliefs might be different than our own.
We can’t be afraid of someone because the color of their skin is different than ours.
We are afraid because we don’t know them.
I knew all of this already. Yet the act of bringing in someone who was culturally different in many ways – and inviting an open forum so the uncomfortable-ness is dispelled? THAT is what makes us learn in a healthy environment.
So this is my proposal to you this week. Ask them!
If you see someone that you don’t know. And feel you might make a judgement because you don’t know them.
Talk to them. Say hello! Ask them if there is something you can help them with as they adjust to the new environment.
Remember. Our family didn’t start ‘here’ either!