I did not get it. Having migrated back to my country of birth after high school, it was akin to culture shock in reverse. I would notice on Sunday mornings how America was segregated when going to church. That is not what I experienced; as you could name any ethnic (and multiethnic) background and those were my classmates, neighbors, teachers, family, and friends.
Why is it this way and what can I do?
I started long distance running in 2014 where I learned much from others and sincerely enjoyed sharing the miles with friends from all walks of life. As I was training for my first marathon in 2015, I realized that I had mistakenly seen running as an individual endeavor. Though self- motivation and discipline is needed, what I learned is that running long distances transcends running. We are not promised the absence of struggle, rather it is through those struggles for each of us that strength is built. What also became self evident is the importance of encouragement and having others around you, as we run as one.
It does not have to be this way. I have learned from being thrown into chaos and new situations throughout my life, there is always a place that we can start again in a different way, and learning from our past plans and failures. We can build something new, together, and carry each other.
As a Third Culture Kid, I am grateful for ‘sharing miles’ with all those that I have crossed paths with in my life. While growing up I had an Indian family that helped raise me in Singapore that is family to me; I am grateful for a step dad (who is black) and family members who I love, love being around, and respect; I am also married to a wonderful woman who is part Cherokee Indian, and I presently live near the former capital of the confederacy. I thought what can I do to play a part to help us all to carry each other.
It is no secret that public discourse in America has become tense and less constructive. This issue does not have borders as people will say and do things that make it difficult to get along that drive a wedge between themselves and their neighbors.
So, why not have a place where heartwarming conversations and stories will be shared with others from different sides of the street. I loved how the late Anthony Bourdain could relate to anyone in the world, and was a great storyteller conversing and learning from others over some great food, including dishes I could not even pronounce.
However instead of ‘Parts Unknown’, my intent is to share ‘Stories Unknown’ to connect and bind all of us and bring us together. As much as I love sharing stories, I welcome the connection of friendships along with the power of the story told.
The purpose here is to remind and encourage is that just as we run as one, we bleed as one.