The Self and Groups of Selves

Nice post from “The Messy Middle” on identity, groups and inclusion. Also includes a wonderful Walt Whitman quote. Here’s the conclusion. Click through to read the whole post. I recommend the blog. She’s insightful and a good writer.

At one point he and I were talking in Chinese and my four-year-old niece turned to her dad and said, “Look, two Chinese people are talking.”

That was the most precious thing said about me that day. To her, I am Chinese.

Interesting, isn’t it, that the Chinese woman saw me as non-Chinese and my niece saw me as Chinese based on who they are and what they bring to the table. To the Chinese woman, I am not Chinese and, let’s face it, never will be even though she was delighted that I spoke some Chinese. To my niece, I am not American in the same sense as others in our family.

Walt Whitman said, “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.”

Indeed, I do contain a multitude. And so do you. Isn’t that one of the delightful parts of being human, of bearing the Imago Dei? To God be the glory for creating beings who can be foreign and Chinese all at once.

About PaulVK

Husband, Father of 5, Pastor
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