I’ve realized recently... misunderstandings don’t have as big of consequences as they did when I was a kid. True story at age 2/3 years old there was a misunderstanding that led to our house phone being tapped and us being followed everywhere.
Because overseas phone taps in the 90s weren’t that great my parents had to ask the guys monitoring our phone conversations if they wouldn’t mind being quiet while they placed the call.
Talk about serious consequences from a misunderstanding.
As an adult though I don’t have to worry that I may say something in not my native tongue that will result in my family getting kicked out of the country the consequences are so much smaller.
There is grace.
I don’t have to walk on egg shells in relationships, I can learn to be more freely me and if someone doesn’t get it? Well it’s not really my problem. (Geez that sounds so rude to say but it’s true!)
If my confidence comes across as intimidating or pride to someone who then doesn’t take the time to get to know me, why should it be my burden to carry?
It’s exhausting trying to learn all the cultural norms.
It’s exhausting trying to dial down pieces of yourself to make others feel comfortable.
There’s parts of me that won’t fit in anyone’s box. That can make people feel uncomfortable or confused. That challenge their reality.
And you know what I’ve realized? I love meeting people like that! I love when I meet the friend that voted for Obama and Trump. Or the stay at home dad that homeschools. Or the Muslim friend that follows Jesus.
There’s so many stories in this world we don’t share because of fear.
But what I love about my boxes being broken is that out comes new hopes and possibilities for the world.
I like to think the day I was asked if Americans still kill Indians like in the movies I was able to share that no we don’t go around shooting Native Americans anymore like in the movies. (This guys was seriously concerned about this after watching old westerns). I like to think I was able to connect the world a little bit. Bridge some misconceptions. Some misunderstandings. And bring hope that maybe humanity is more similar than we think.
Maybe there’s more color than just liberal and rightwing, Christian or Muslim, millennial or baby boomer.
But if we aren’t willing to be misunderstood by some we won’t ever be understood by the many that truly seek to know and be known. And those are the real audience and listeners that matter
What are some out of the box stories you need to share?