Just another set of updates on where we are and what/how we are doing. Sorry for the long delay. I promise I continue to have every intention of regular blogging again.
Our travels were absolutely wonderful, and I apologize for not checking in sooner. I expect to be resume blogging more regularly as we learn to again navigate the busyness of life in America. In the meantime, I wrote a blog for Good Shepherd Volunteers. Please click the link and read if you have the opportunity.
I had hoped that this would deliver on Sunday morning, but have kept encountering difficulties. I think the post remains relevant.
As football season begins, it seems that everyone has something to say. Of course, I do to...
Things are going to change, I can feel it... I was not expecting to write today, but a quiet morning with the sunrise and a sore throat got me thinking. My thoughts came together in a way that seemed appropriate for public sharing.
Today, I am sharing something a lot different. It is a poem that came to me back in December. I have been working on it ever since. It's not real long, so maybe you can muster the energy for it.
Today, I am going to share a look back at my own history as it relates to diversity. I present this mea culpa for both your benefit and mine. I have had this prepared for some time, but have hesitated to share it on multiple occasions.
I believe that honestly putting this out there will help free myself from the fear of my reality becoming public knowledge. A history that I can justifiably be embarrassed about. So I put this out there to say I am very flawed, but I am going to try.
I am going to be honest and open to criticism. I am trying to learn and I am going to make mistakes. I can only learn from those mistakes if people point them out to me.
I can only learn from people pointing out my mistakes if I am willing to admit wrong: admitting wrong instead of the natural inclination to defensiveness, denial, justification, or excuse. And then, I can continue to imperfectly move forward.
Feel free to take this walk with me.
Dealing with the tragedies of the past week has not been easy. I cannot say whether it is harder or easier than being at home, but it is definitely different. Much of the reading I have been doing surrounds social justice throughout the world. Much of the living I have done has helped me understand marginalization.
I should share with you that there are probably only two things unique about these posts: 1) you know me so that impacts how you process my words. 2) I am having this transition or awakening in a relative vacuum here in Thailand.
Otherwise, you can expect to hear the voice of yet another white male coming to understand his privilege. How that privilege has shaped a huge portion of my life, and how I interact with the world. There are at least hundreds, hopefully thousands of thousands of men like me out there who have had nearly the same experience. I am aware that many have already written about the experience, and have likely done it more eloquently.
Much of the content I will be sharing this week has been in the works for months. I cannot keep it to myself any longer, and I can no longer try to perfect it. I am putting it out there with its imperfections and the knowledge that I have no control over what will come. But maybe, just one person will begin their journey to greater understanding because of it. That hope is more than enough for me.
Sometimes it is easiest to go alone. This week I learn a lot by looking back at the experience of running with and without Susan. I also share updates about some recent changes and a lot of photos from a wonderful weekend we had in NongKhai.
This week I responded to our recent tragedy by being more engaged with our patients. I saw an opportunity to prepare for the advancing illness of a one I call 'Sam'. I now have mixed feelings about some of these decisions. A brief piece about culture, intentions, and growth.
As you can see, I have returned from vacation with a renewed fire of productivity. Today, I have just shared an 18-minute TedTalks that I listened to on vacation along with the journal entry I wrote just after it. I thought I would just share another glimpse into how my mind works for those of you who are interested.
Like it or not, our skin pigment has a significant effect on our daily interactions in America. I touched on the idea in Part2, but in part 3 I address a few common stereotypes that are thrown around, talk more about a few of my experiences with skin pigment differences, and begin to look forward to the future.
Today's post is not very long, but I think I have finally started to find a way to describe how poverty is affecting me here. I am surprised by how long and how much processing it has taken me to just take these first few steps. My hope is that like running a marathon maybe the first few steps are some of the hardest, and understanding will come a bit more easily from here on.
Well, part 2 is here with a little reflection on how all the attention can affect me. I also draw a few comparisons to the experience of people in my favorite city - Chicago.
Let it Begin! I am really excited to share my first Blog Series!!! I am tagging it the "SkinPigmentSeries". This is a topic that I have been thinking, reading, and learning a lot about for a long time, but certainly more intensely for the last 3 months. I will be keeping them shorter, like little vignettes. I hope they share some insight into another aspect of our experience here, and how it is affecting how I see the world.
Some days everything goes as planned, and somedays you end up wondering how you arrived where you ended up. I seem to always be surprised where I end up, but it does not take long to retrace my path and understand my journey.
Good Shepherd Volunteers (GSV) is grounded in 4 tenets; social justice, simplicity, spirituality, and community. As we prepared our application for GSV in January, we spent time reflecting on each of the tenets and what they meant to us. I have been thinking it would be a good idea to spend some time reflecting on the tenets again in preparation for the commencement of our journey. I guess this is part 1.
Read on to here more about my thoughts on my growing role with regard to social justice, my thoughts on social justice in America, and what I think social justice may look like in Thailand.