I Am Going To Be Uncomfortable

  I'm actually uncomfortable now, squirmy-inside uncomfortable with the fact that something I'll be doing tonight is going to make me uncomfortable.  I hate that I thought about not going because I didn't want to be uncomfortable.  In the end, I decided to go because it is so important to be made uncomfortable, to put yourself in situations that are new and unknown and grow from them.
  And what exactly is your intrepid adventurer nervous about doing?  Attending a pot-luck dinner- a Black History Month cultural celebration, round-table, and pot-luck dinner.  Really? That's all?  That's what I was thinking myself.  Why am I even questioning whether or not I should go to this?  It's an opportunity to talk about history and culture and I love that.  There's the rub though: it's not my history and culture.  Yes, part of African American history is American history and I've read a lot about it but that's not the same.  Yes, I have African American friends but I've never participated in anything that celebrates the African American culture. 
  So if it's not fully my history and it's not my culture, why am I going?  I'm a talker but I won't have anything to add to the discussions and if anything I may end up feeling defensive and left out.  This celebration tonight is not about me and that, my friends, is exactly why I'm going.  I'm going to listen, learn, and to celebrate something other than me and mine.  I'm going so that I can be made uncomfortable and so that I can embrace that feeling and learn from it. 
  I'm not sharing this with you because I want a pat on the back or as a nod to my multicultural family.  I'm sharing this because I want you to know it's normal to feel uncomfortable about something different and because I hope you might follow my example and push into, and through, that uncomfortable feeling to get to a place of growth and understanding.  A comfortable life is one lived with blinders on.  Those blinders can block out other cultures, poverty, or injustice and everyone has them to some degree, but I believe we should all work towards reducing and removing them so that we can truly see and understand our fellow man. 


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