My father told me a story once. It involved him and my mom in their first few years of marriage. They were taking a road trip and my mom, raised a stick Mennonite, had an insatiable desire for books; she read and read. Even when they arrived at the Grand Canyon, my dad was out staring into the vast expanse of 2 billion year old (get real) Vishnu Schist rock, while my mom was sitting in the car reading a book.
Now, I can tell you that it wasn't due to my mom’s frequency to the Grand Canyon that dulled God's beauty for her, as if to say, “I know I've seen it a thousand times." (The feeling I got in Prague) But rather, from what I can gather, it was the beauty that my mom saw in the characters in her stories; whether they were love characters, hate characters, or somewhere-in-between characters.
He yelled "Birdie", a nickname for Roberta. (A name my mom would later loath, desiring to not sound so old and black) "get out of the car and come see this." As my mom did, begrudgingly or not I don’t know, she stood and looked for some seconds and said, "That's nice," as if she was merely looking at a boy giving up his chair for an older woman, or gazing at a child's picture placating then saying simply, "That's nice." She then turned and sat back in the car, back in her lee.
I feel like my mom right now. I lie in bed reading a captivating book while all of Seoul is laid out before me ready to be punctured by my personality. But yet I don't move and keep reading.
Have you ever heard the phrase..
"You don't change the culture, the culture changes you."
If I had to guess I would say my mom took that phrase and said something like...
"I don't care about the culture, I'll do what I like."
So today I make the same declaration. "It's not about culture, it's about who I am."
Koreans tell (not all of them) white lies. I tell the truth. Koreans think (not all of them) that if you have facial hair, you're dirty. I don't shave.
I can assure you that no matter where I live and for how long I live there, the culture won't change me and who I am. No matter where you go, being a Christian is being a Christian and culture has nothing to do with how you act. So please don't change who you are based on the people you're around. Unless they are helping you to become better. Cut the people out of your life that are encouraging you to be horrible. Keep the people in your life that need you to be strong for them.
until next time...
(I love you and can't wait to see you again.) war.