Photo Credit: PolyU TEDx Talk Facebook Page
I’m grateful for the privilege and honor to share my story at PolyU’s 2018 TEDx Talk. As a communicator and preacher, I am always trying to find ways to share timeless truths to help others live out their destiny, as well as to make an impact on society. One big issue that has affected my life is racism, which comes in all different forms.
At 5 years old, my family and I moved to the United States from Seoul, South Korea. As an immigrant, I quickly realized that I was an “outsider.” Throughout elementary school and especially in junior high and high school, it was more prevalent. I tried very hard to fit in, but I noticed that adjusting to a new culture was not easy. The sense of “otherness” and being “different” became more obvious due to the fact that I was one of the few Asians in my school and neighborhood.
But as I reflect back on my life, I am thankful for the experiences and challenges that I faced growing up as a minority. In fact, my differences have really allowed me to be more effective in reaching out to other people. I have allowed my differences to make a difference in various cultures and sub-cultures by making a decision to go through the discomforts of getting to know people who are different from me. This is what “transculturalism” is all about. It is when a person makes: “a decision to go through the discomforts and difficulties in order to develop an understanding and delight in people from different cultures.”
By living with a transcultural mindset, it has given me a perspective that has opened many doors for me to travel around the world and meet a lot of incredible people who are so different from me. I have learned to appreciate and incorporate many lessons obtained through entering into another person’s world. Even though the lessons were painful and challenging, I can now see how everything was working out for the good and for a greater purpose.
My family and I probably would not have left the comforts of the United States and moved to Hong Kong if it were not for the experiences that I had growing up as an “outsider.” I would love to see people learning the principles of transculturalism so that we can make the world a better place to live.
I can’t wait to share my journey and some next steps with you at this year’s PolyU TEDx Talk. Sign up and hope to see you there!