What Do We Do with Our Differences?

Ian North

A Cuban, Mexican, Irish, and Australian person walked into an Indian restaurant.

It sounds like the setup for a joke, but this was just our executive staff lunch on Wednesday. Kimberly, Wanda, Ruthie, and I each come from a radically different background, and we spend time together working on our relationships so that we can better love our neighbors. 

This week, we talked about the challenge of bringing people from different groups together, and how we preserve each person’s dignity. It’s complicated work, and we each make mistakes along the way, but here’s how we work to honor and love each other across our differences:

  • Share a vision: Instead of blaming people groups or categorizing victims, we share a positive vision. This gives us hope, unity, and direction. Our vision is to live in a world where the children of immigrants are welcomed and equipped to lead with love.

  • Honor distinct roles: From our smallest student to our wealthiest donor, each person brings different gifts to the table. Some of us bring stories. Some bring the ability to speak multiple languages. Some of us have resources we can share. Some of us have time. We honor what each person has to share.

  • Journey together: This is relational work, and we each make mistakes. We each lose sight of our own dignity or fail to acknowledge someone else’s dignity. When we journey together over time, we recognize mistakes, forgive each other, and find new ways to pursue our vision. 

The world’s structures pit many of us against each other. They try to convince us we are enemies because we come from different places on the spectrums of gender, race, wealth, political affiliation, age, and ability. But when we share a vision, honor diverse gifts, and journey together over time, those differences add depth, beauty, and goodness to our work.

Have a hopeful Friday,

Ian North
Director of Communications



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