Monday, January 19, 2009

The Inauguration and the Third Culture President

It’s just the beginning.

We are celebrating what many consider a dream fulfilled. Of course, there are still conflicts, racism, prejudice and stereotyping even in the church but it is a new day when the most powerful political person on the earth is Black. This is a historic moment for the world to celebrate. But before you simply see this as a race thing or even just a political party’s victory. . . how about seeing it also from the lens of culture or rather, CULTURES.

Third culture is about the fusion of multiple cultures, the art of adaptation, dialogue rather than dictation, diplomacy over strong arm tactics, and the embrace of discomfort as part of the journey to real community. Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, to a White mother from Kansas who has Irish and English roots, and a father, from Kenya. He studied in Indonesia, Hawaii, California, New York, and Boston. In his travels and life, his focus has been both urban and surburban, cities and villages, rich and poor.

While the church is still talking about diversity and multi-ethnic, city or suburban initiatives, rich or poor, post-modern or modern, gen Y or gen X, attractional or missional, the world is focused upon NOT either/ors BUT both/ands. . . people and leaders who can live in the intersections. People who understand the fringes and the margins yet can weave in and out of multiple cultures, honoring the context and the past, yet fueling the fringe.

It’s a third culture world. How are your third culture skills? President Obama is just the beginning of a whole new wave of leaders who will have significant impact in a world where the rules have changed or are changing.

1 comment:

Tony said...

come back to xanga.