Day 120 of Gratitude – Being Different

Many people surround themselves with those who are substantially similar in race and cultural attitudes. I have never had that option. At the moment, I can’t think of a half-Caucasian, half-Asian person I know other than four I’m related to. Nor do I know of anyone, other than my brother, raised in an amalgamation of midwest, white middle-class and Japanese-American cultures. I’ve never had the option of surrounding myself with people who look like I do, have the same notions of what is polite and what is forbidden, or share my deeply ingrained beliefs about how I, as an individual, fit into society.

I see people cling to what is familiar and say that people who don’t look, think, or act like them are abnormal, weird, or sometimes even evil. They don’t attempt to understand anything else – they have no reason to. And I am glad that was never an option available to me. I enjoy the perspectives of others – Scottish, Somalian, Chinese, Croatian, Nigerian, Italian, Vietnamese, Russian, Irish – you name it. Their family customs are rich and, more often than not, have some core values at the heart of them that reinforce my own beliefs or at least allow me to understand them better.

I’m not sure why I thought about this today, but being different – growing up around people who were not like me – has been a blessing for which I am grateful.


Day 100 of Gratitude – a Spring Evening

The sunshine played with the ends of my hair and the spring breeze cooled my cheeks. And I walked. I walked silently along sidewalks and cut through lumpy grass mounds the newly green lawns. The crystal blue sky above me was calming. Birds flutter past and called from distant trees. Children squealed on the school playground while others readied their bikes for a new season. Other walkers smiled generously and nodded as they went their way. My husband’s hand folded around mine as I walked, surrounding not just my hand but all of me with warmth and comfort. And we kept walking, noticing each moment and the joys of spring it held.