Cool Somewhere

Well, I haven’t been exactly faithful at this blog writing thing, but recently I came up with a noteworthy theory; and I thought my blog would be a good place to put it. My theory is that everything is cool somewhere. No, I’m not talking about the weather. Let me try to make sense of my thoughts…

After a recent trip to NC and a short dip into my home culture (with an unusual amount of reverse culture shock, I might add), I started thinking about how easy it is to think one’s own culture is the ONLY culture. Most of us stay inside our cultural bubbles for most of our lives, so we tend to think everyone else thinks like us and values the same things we do. Thankfully, and to the great glory of God, such is not the case!!

Do you like football and brats and beer (like many Wisconsin-ites)? That’s great. Just don’t forget there are real, worthwhile people in the world who love tea parties, high heels that match their scarves, knitting, and classical music.

Do you value productivity and timeliness? Well, let me inform you that there are many places in the world where sitting on your porch talking to friends and doing absolutely nothing for 10 hours is a perfectly legitimate way to spend the day.

Would you call the police if a neighbor was so loud that he woke you up in the middle of the night? Believe me, there are neighborhoods in this country where people barely notice the sirens, car alarms, blaring horns, loud music, parties, and fights.

Do you shop at The Gap and Old Navy? Nothing wrong with that. But have you noticed the people wearing hemp and organic clothes? Have you even heard of Ecko, Fubu, and baby phat?

Is your drink of choice sweet tea or boba? Do you get your groceries at Winn-Dixie or Whole Foods or El Rey? Do you like Mercy Me, John Mare, Pedro Fernandez, or Grits?

Is your idea of a good Sunday afternoon a mountain hike and a picnic? Have fun! But while you’re gone my husband will be playing an online computer game and I’ll be solving some Sudoku puzzles while my neighbors start a pick-up basketball game.

Would you have hula hooping and fire dancing at your wedding? For some people that’s ridiculous; for others, it’s a blast.

Which leads me to the theory that everything is cool somewhere–or “tight” or “raw” or “cold” or “deadly” or “class” or “brilliant” or any number of other adjectives, depending on your cultural lingo.

See, the beauty of all this is, most importantly, that all of these different cultures in some way show us an aspect of who God is. We can’t see all of Him without all of us. The colors and faces and personalities and peoples bring Him lots of glory.

But an often overlooked benefit of many cultures, is, really, you can do whatever you like (as long as you’re not breaking God’s absolutely true laws) without fear of what other people think; because, believe me, someone somewhere thinks it’s cool.

I think I’ve become addicted to life at the crossroads of many cultures, a.k.a. the city, where the mariachi music mixes with the rap and where within a few blocks you can get sushi, soul food, and the best chimichangas you ever tasted. My advice to you is: leave your home culture! At least for a visit. And remember when you go that they’re not going to think like you. Keep your eyes and ears open for new perspectives. You’ll probably come back with a little more humility, a lot of new things to enjoy, and a much bigger view of God.

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