Bursting My Chinese Bubble

The older I get, the more I realize how much I have been living in a bubble.  This bubble was not completely intentional though; I think it kind of developed out of circumstances and a lack of understanding.  What I’m talking about is the very square environment that I have grown up in and grown accustomed to all my life – the very Chinese bubble.

I didn’t really have much say about this bubble when I was younger; my family immigrated here from Taiwan when my parents were in their early 30’s, so it was of course a foreign land to them.  Naturally they felt safer and more comfortable with Chinese friends and going to a Chinese church.  The only exposure I had to “foreigners” (though truthfully speaking, I was the foreigner) was when we lived in Union City and I had mostly non-Asian friends (gasp!).  But that however was short-lived because we moved to Fremont when I was in junior high and even back then, the schools there had a good Asian population (nowadays, they are predominately Asian – it’s scary how we are taking over the city!).  So I surrounded myself with Chinese friends, went to a Chinese church and continued this pattern throughout college and well into my working years and married life.  So, as you can see, my bubble became quite hardened (made more of concrete than water) and was almost impenetrable, albeit for a few non-Asian friends I met at work and grad school.

I never realized how limiting and harmful it is to live in a bubble until just this past year.  Hubby and I made the big decision to change churches – from a Chinese one to a multi-ethnic one – and this decision has blown my bubble to pieces!  It has been so liberating for me to slowly shed the prejudices I had before about people – prejudices that were there only because of how I perceived people to be based on their appearances.  But beyond their skin color, tattoos and clothes are people just like me.  Our stories may be different, but we are all people who have been made in God’s image and who struggle through life’s ups and downs.  More importantly, we are all worthy of acceptance, love and respect.  I’m ashamed to admit that I used to think that people who followed God had to be Chinese and square (like me!).  Nowadays, I try not to make judgments that are so shallow and instead try to get to know people for who they really are.  

The best thing about our transition out of the Chinese bubble is that our kids will grow up in a more balanced and accepting environment.  They will know that people come in all shapes, sizes, colors, attitudes and dress and to love people for their insides.  And they will have a better glimpse of what heaven is like – a place with all kinds of people who love God, not just square, Chinese ones!  😛

Image courtesy of digitalart/freedigitalphotos.net

Here’s Rob Thomas’s song, “Streetcorner Symphony“, a cool song about people of every color.  🙂

What bubble(s) do you find yourself in?

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