Culture. I have been watching it. Loving it. Confused by it. Angered by it. Influenced by it. Walking it. Rejecting it. Embracing it. I want to understand. There are parts of the Haitian culture, that differ from American culture, that I love, love, love. Other parts? Not so much! There are parts of the American culture that are different from the Haitian culture that I love, love, love. Other parts? Not so much!
The other day someone said, in jest of course, that I am a Haitian. Do I dream of the day that I will fully “be a Haitian”? No. It will never happen. It just isn’t who I am. Do I long for and plan to return to my insulated American mindset? No. Well ok, some days, but I’m not interested. The reality is that I am developing my own third culture. I am developing my own culture, an amalgamation of both Haitian and American culture. I would like to think it is more complete world view.
I am afraid. What will I leave behind? What will I embrace? What will I reject? What will rub off on me? Who am I becoming?
Right now, I feel the urge to list the things I love about Haitians and the things I love about American’s. Right now, I was to scream from the mountain tops the list of things I will never embrace in Haitian culture, and all the things that completely annoy me about my own American culture. Yet, I am still too new, too fresh, too idealistic, too myopic to confidently know all the answers.
Many have walked this road before me and I hope and pray that as I watch and learn from them, as I ask questions, as I seek the counsel of God, that I will continue to become who God’s wants me to be. “It” really isn’t about being Haitian, or walking their walk . “It” isn’t about being American, or the American dream. It is about becoming who God wants me to be, with His values, His standards, His dreams, His sufferings.
God himself has given us a great example in Christ. He came down, from His culture of Heaven, to a foreign earthly culture. He remained God, and became fully human. He contextualized, yet remained who he was in essence. I like that.
Lord, help me. I am scared, but I boldly move forward to the adventure that awaits. This transformation isn’t easy. It hurts. God make me who you want me to be. Give me your mind and your heart. Give me wisdom to rightly divide influence (internal and external), confidence to embrace, humility to give up, strength to embrace.