Category Archives: #diversity

Diversity and the Benefits of Bilingualism

Interesting Stats: There are over 360 different languages spoken in the United States … and of the languages spoken at home, 80% of our country speaks English at home, 12.5% speaks Spanish at home, 1% speaks Chinese at home, half a percent speaks Tagalog (from the Philippines) at home, and the remaining 6% our country speaks some other language while at home.

What a diverse country we have!

Moreover, over 56% of the world’s population is at least bilingual, with many people having the ability to speak multiple languages.

What a diverse world we have!

There are many benefits to being bilingual, and here is one article that describes some of the benefits:

The Cognitive Benefits of Being Bilingual

Also posted in #learnspanish

My Buddy

Your origins in Africa,
wise man of many years;
from Europe I descended,
still one wet ‘hind the ears,
‘hind the ears.

We sat out on the porch,
or strolled down to the store;
seems morning, noon, and night,
us two would laugh some more,
laugh some more.

But when life took a turn,
thought I should leave a friend;
not once in two full years,
a letter did I send,
did I send.

At last I came to know,
true friends are hard to find;
I traveled through to see you,
but … only in my mind,
in my mind.

Sadness, grief, anxiety,
one such as you had flown;
my sorrow only overcome,
to think of fun we’d sown,
fun we’d sown.

Your life, a precious gift,
Sir Sammy, yeah! – so funny;
with God forever dwelling,
you’ll always be my buddy,
my buddy.

Also posted in #Sammy

Gay People

I love gay people … heterosexuals too.

Whites, blacks, reds, yellows, blues, browns, beiges … no matter the color or the shape, I love.

Male, female … young, old … rich, poor … friend, foe … believe like me, believe NOT like me – I love.

And if it ain’t real, I fool no one … especially not you, God.

God, help us love like you love.

Also posted in #gay

Big World

I’m on an airplane that just lifted off from the Cincinnati airport en route to San Francisco.

As I look out the window at the houses sprinkled everywhere among the rich farmland below, I am once again reminded of what a big world we live in.

Who lives in the house below me at the edge of the woods by the curve in the road? Are they retired? Or, is it a family with small children? What type of jobs do they have? Where do they go to church? At this very moment, are they happy? Sad? Stressed? Content? Will I ever see them in my lifetime?

And what about the people in the house over there? Or in the village over yonder?

Of course, I’ll never get answers to these questions … unless God chooses to reveal them to me. Wouldn’t that be funny if one day God said to me, “I was watching you journal on the Delta flight over Kentucky wondering about the people below, and the folks in that specific house you eyed at the edge of the woods were Bob and Agnes Baker. Bob was a retired electrician, but Agnes was still working part-time in the cafeteria at Crestview Elementary. Their only child, Brenda, was happily married to Rick …

Wouldn’t that be funny?

And it’s awesome to think that God, at least as God is perceived by us, knows every human being completely at any given point and time in history. Who can contemplate the mind of God? Who can teach God anything? Who has more power than God?

It’s a big, big world … and I have looked out the airplane window at just a sliver of humankind. Various people of various cultures of various skin color speaking various languages, and each person living in their corner of the world.

Some people we cross paths with momentarily, like the person in the car beside us at the stop light … as soon as the light turns green, we likely will never see them again. Others we see periodically, such as members of the same fitness center. Some we see regularly for a season, fellow members of an adult education class, for instance. And still others will be in our lives for a lifetime.

How shall we interact with those around us? On most days there are dozens, if not hundreds, of people-contact moments. What shall we do with each moment? Be kind? Be stern? Be friendly? Be suspicious? Be prayerful? Be angry? Be instructive? Be playful? Be wary? Be attentive? Be helpful? Be loving? All of these things?

It can all be overwhelming to think about, but don’t let it overwhelm you. It seems to me that God has entrusted each one of us with the stewardship of our own life, and God wants us to be wise about how we treat others and teat our own self. Each one of us gets to figure that out for our own self. We can be wise, or we can be foolish toward others … we can be kind, or we can be mean … we can be selfish, or we can prefer others before our own self.

You and I get to choose — what will we do this very moment?

Accuser or Redeemer?

I prefer to see life as a rich tapestry of colors and hues, however on occasion it is helpful to view life in black and white terms.

Speaking of black and white, then, it seems to me that there are two forces at work in the world, the force of accusation and the force of redemption. And all of us at any given moment are acting more like an accuser … or more like a redeemer.

The voice of accusation is the loudest and most common voice. In my humble opinion, people spend far more time looking for fault in others than looking for the good.

My Dad kept a saying posting in his office for many years, it read: The way some people find fault, you’d think there was a reward. Now I realize that uttering that very saying seems to contradict the very point that is made, that by saying that some people are always finding fault … you are actually finding fault with fault-finders. Be that as it may, the people who are disturbed by fault-finders are generally the people who don’t practice finding fault.

So, how do you live most of the time … acting like an accuser, or acting like a redeemer?

I encourage you to be a redeemer, to spend your days looking for the good in people, be an encourager and tell others what you like about them, and when you are talking about someone who is not present, speak about that person in positive terms.

If you cannot make a practice of being a redeemer, an encourager, of being someone who looks for the good in others, then please quit tearing down the world and others with your tongue.

The New Testament says that the tongue can be a flame of fire, and that it is set on fire by Hell itself … with the tongue we bless God, and then turn around and curse others with it. My friends, that ought not to be.

Do we really think God is stupid? Some people spend all week trashing other people at work in a vain attempt to make “friends” and get ahead, and practice criticizing other people outside of work (neighbors, relatives, whoever), and then show up at church or temple or synagogue or mosque or sitting or wherever, and say “Bless you, God”

That’s nothing but a damn joke, and not the least bit funny.

Make up your mind and choose one path or the other. Be an encourager, speak well of others, be supportive, build up your fellow human being and humankind in general … or, like my Dad once said to me when I was still a small child, “If you don’t have something good to say about someone else, keep your damn mouth shut.”

Ouch! That hurts, eh?

Also posted in #forgiveness