Isn't it interesting, that in light of my last post, which I am fully convicted by, I feel relieved and comforted when I am able to walk down the streets of my hometown, and see people that reflect myself. I don't know who they are, what they believe, or even if they themselves are visitors like I now find myself, but I am able to find similarity in the diversity, and am struck with the beauty of our world when we are able to experience that in the mundane of everyday life.
In short, I feel typical, even when I am so obviously different than the people I pass on the street, in race and ethnicity, dress, belief, ideaologies. But the acceptance of all of those things makes me feel accepted and warmed.
In smaller, more homeogenous communities, I am restricted in what I can say, sometimes to the point in what I feel I can believe, simply by the lack of diversity. I recall two experiences, so similar and so different:
I can walk into any coffee shop in the greater Boise area, no matter the time of day, and be greeted by children, crying laughing playing, and their young parents, usually mothers, who seem unphased by their children. Even unaware of the prescence while chatting with their girlfriends. There is usually at least one pastor who is preparing a sermon, mumbling to himself, always a "him," in want of an audience to debate with, and rarely anyone without a wedding ring. A small, and loud, observation for those that don't see the practicality of early marriage.
I can walk into the same coffee shop in the greater Seattle are, of which I did today, and be greeted by two young gay men, an presupposition not a fact, enjoy my coffee to the chatter of to ad executives debating over what their next campaign should look like while I try to imagine who they work for and how I would design the same campaign, and oogle the young professional who is obviously taking a late and long lunch. No children to tend to, it's two in the afternoon, and they are still at school or in daycare afterall, and no too-young married to be annoyed by.
These may seem bitter observations. But I am deeply affected when I come into contact with these daily differences. As one would be when immigrating from one culture to another, I feel I have given up many intellectual and cultural freedoms to live where I do, although not for some good things.
Those to come.