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Anger Porn

Anger Porn

Written by a colleague of mine. Worth the read.

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A few weeks ago, a Facebook meme was going around of a sign for the Orange Church of God condemning skateboarders, artists, addicts, occupiers, and vegetarians to hell. Every time the meme got shared, the comments were angry, cynical, and outraged. There go those hateful evangelicals again.

The problem with this meme is that it generated real anger against a fake church. The Orange Church of God does not exist. So the meme serves only the purpose of creating anger. It is anger porn. 

Like lust, wrath is categorized as one of the seven deadly sins. The seven deadly sins are primarily sins of thought, foundational motivators to the sins done in action. The seven deadly sins are also pernicious, related to proper needs and desires taken to extremes. Greed is a disordered desire for wealth. Gluttony is a disordered desire for consumption. Lust is a disordered sexual desire…

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Posted by on February 13, 2014 in Professional

 

Kinesiology and Faith Part II

This is the second post in a series on the interaction between faith from a Christian perspective and my professional discipline of kinesiology. If you’d like to read Part I, click here.

For a moment, let’s consider why the physical component of our personhood is important. Why does Huntington University choose to emphasize physical development? Why have organizations such as the Christian Society of Kinesiology and Leisure Studies, of which I am a board member, active participant, and mission-supporter, been chartered? The most basic explanation is because of Christ’s command in Mark 12:30. Although I am not a Greek scholar, my understanding through use of resources such as Strong’s Concordance is that the word which is translated as “strength” comes from the Greek word ischys. The Greek word literally means “strength, power (especially physical) as an endowment” and is found 11 times in the King James Version. The translators would typically convert ischys to “strength, power, might, ability, and mighty.” Other occurrences are very familiar passages: Luke 10:27 in the prologue to the Parable of the Good Samaritan, 1 Peter 4:11 (New International Version), “If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength [emphasis added] God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen”, or 2 Peter 2:11 (New International Version), “yet even angels, although they are stronger [emphasis added] and more powerful, do not heap abuse on such beings when bringing judgment on them from the Lord.” These passages, particularly from 1 Peter and 2 Peter, make the physical aspect more obvious.

As an example of how I have seen Mark 12:30 interpreted at Huntington University, I offer the following anecdote. In my Introduction to Physical Wellness class, I ask each student to consider the Mark 12:30 passage in light of their physical well-being and future career implications through an online class project. Although I have no hard data, I am certain that the majority of students have been conditioned to interpret “strength” as mentioned in Mark 12:30 as mental fortitude or psychological hardiness (although they never use those exact words). “The Lord wants me to be mentally strong so I can give a ready response to unbelievers” is not an atypical student interpretation of Mark 12:30. Most of these students have not been challenged with the concept that “strength” in this passage is, indeed, referring to what we are able to accomplish with our physical bodies. They do not connect, and have not been challenged to do so, “spirit, mind, and body” with ischys and the implied importance of physical health and wellbeing.  Many, even after discussion of this point in class, still interpret ischys as a mental strength/fortitude. For example, below is a student’s submission in my Introduction to Physical Wellness course discussing this passage of Scripture:

“I am just going to put this out in the forefront and say that I am not very religious. On a scale of one-to-ten, one being not very religious and ten being extremely religious, I fall at about a two.

Needless to say, I have little to no “strength” in my faith life. It is clear that the verse is talking about physical strength when loving God. Basically, in a “give it your all” or “don’t do it half-assed” way of thinking. Well, I feel as though this can be extended to all the things that you are doing. Loving God, doing homework, doing your job, whatever it may be. The verse is telling us, there is no reason to not put your all into something, you have nothing to lose. I feel that the passage is trying to say I should be giving my all when trying to achieve my goals.”

This student, who is not an exercise science major and did well in the course, is not entirely rare in her interpretation of this passage. The worldview that the physical is “less than” the spiritual and emotional and mental is pervasive with our undergraduate students. I believe it is also dangerous.

The danger lies in that Christ exhorts us to consider ischys from the way it was intended: as a component of physical wellness, not as mental fortitude. To interpret the command of Christ any other way is to miss its inherent beauty and challenge. We are complete people – both spiritual and physical; discounting either aspect is detrimental to the whole. To return to the question posed above, why is physical wellness important?, we see that not only is it commanded by Christ himself, but it also has practical spiritual implications. Therefore, the core of faith integration in kinesiology is this: We are better equipped to serve and love others if we have a certain level of physical health. Thomas (2011) says it like this,

The reason I want to  get in shape … is not to impress anyone, not to make others feel inferior, not to demonstrate our own personal discipline and self-control … it is to become, as Paul writes, ‘instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. (p. 15)

Thomas also argues that to be effective spiritually we much learn that our bodies are not ornaments. Instead we need to see our bodies as instruments. I would add a third option as well. There are many Christians who treat their bodies as nothing more than trash bins, filling them with whatever tastes good or abusing them with such a small amount of physical activity as to be inviting an early grave. Thomas bluntly stated that “Christians who don’t take their health seriously don’t take their mission seriously” (p. 20). The key challenge is how do we purposefully identify our bodies as instrument instead of as ornaments or as trash bins?

What do you think?

This thought will be continued in Part III …

 

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2013 in Academic, Professional

 

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Kinesiology and Faith Part I

I am a tenured professor at Huntington University. In addition to exemplary teaching evaluations, campus, community, and professional service, and letters of recommendation, a tenure application at HU includes an essay on how faith and subject matter interact. That faith-integration essay is the backbone for my Kinesiology and Faith series of blogs. If you’re interested in how fitness, health, and wellness, fit with a Christian worldview, read on …

We are not angels, pursuing God without physical covering, and if we try to pretend that we are – living as though the state of our bodies has no effect on the condition of our souls – all the proper doctrine in the world can’t save us from eating away our sensitivity to God’s presence or throwing away years of potential ministry if we wreck our heart’s physical home.

Gary Thomas, Every Body Matters

The Christian college exists to provide an arena for faculty, students, and the community to contemplate academic subject matter within the context of Christian theology and worldview.  In kinesiology, the contemplation of faith and its impact on subject matter is particularly salient. My experience has shown that throughout most of our Christian education, both at church and through formal academic preparation and/or reflection, we have been taught and trained on how to enrich our souls, often to the unintentional exclusion or detriment to our physical selves. The general thesis of this series is to remind us that to fully embrace Jesus’s command in Mark 12:30 (New Living Translation), “… you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, your entire mind, and all your strength”, we must also consider how physical discipline can enhance, or how the lack of discipline can weaken or undermine spiritual growth. Byl (2008) addressed this topic through a discussion on what it means to be made in the image of God (as described in Genesis 1:27) stating, “the image of God is not limited to a person’s soul, body, or relationships; the image of God is potentially expressed through all aspects of a person, and in the garden the imaging was very good” (p. 5). We represent God wherever we go and in whatever we do. When coupled with Christ’s command to love God with every part of our being, it becomes readily apparent that true, complete faith integration for the Christian kinesiologist must consider the physical dynamic of our humanity.

I am proud and grateful that Huntington University also recognizes the influence that physical well-being has on education and the complexity of complete personhood. In our Manual of Operations, under the Focus Statement (A.1.3.1) and Fundamental & Continuing Commitments (A.1.3.1.1), the Manual states that “Educationally, the University is committed to developing the whole person, including intellectual, physical [emphasis added], social, and spiritual dimensions. We believe this is a demonstration of our commitment to excellence” (Faculty Handbook & Manual of Operations, 2010, p. A-3). And again under the Philosophy of Education (A.1.5), “In developing the whole person, the University emphasizes intellectual, physical [emphasis added], social, and religious objectives” and “The University encourages the student to value physical well-being as a basis for wholesome living and good health [emphasis added], and to develop a personality that makes possible mutually satisfying and cooperative relations with others” (Faculty Handbook & Manual of Operations, 2010, p. A-5). Finally, and possibly most vividly stated, under the Philosophy of Athletics (A.1.9) (Faculty Handbook & Manual of Operations, 2010):

The physical body is part of God’s good creation. It deserves consideration, care, and intelligent development. For the one reborn in Christ, the body is also the temple of the Holy Spirit. Thus, both in the original creation and in the new creation, care of the physical body and the development of physical skills are consistent with and important to Christian commitment.

Huntington University is committed to the development of the whole person. This holistic philosophy includes the physical as an important component integrated with intellectual, social, psychological, and spiritual aspects of the total person. It is, therefore, appropriate that the educational program of the University include formal academic opportunities for physical development through activity courses, informal opportunity through an intramural program, and organized activity through the intercollegiate athletics program. (p. A-14)

As I discussed in the Christ@Center@Huntington essay series (Ruiz, 2008) a few years ago, Christians in the field of exercise science, or more broadly, kinesiology, bring an important perspective on faith integration because we understand human wellness as a mixture of spirit, mind, and body. While our campus has many experts who teach how to enhance our spiritual faith through the disciplines of study, prayer, meditation, fasting, and others, how many could articulate the imperative of maintaining, enhancing, and even celebrating the physical component as described in the Manual of Operations. (To illustrate, I, one of the supposed “experts” on physical well-being on our campus, was not aware of the language in the Manual until I began preparation of this paper.) Often, in the pursuit of more spiritual discipline, the “strength” component Christ mentions in Mark 12:30 is often minimized or neglected entirely. A Christian kinesiologist such as myself is an excellent, and I would argue indispensable, complement to the experts who teach spiritual discipline by virtue of my ability to educate students (and other faculty) who have never reflected on the significance of the physical aspect of their personhood.

What do you think?

This thought will be continued in Part II …

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2013 in Academic, Professional

 

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The Inside Scoop on Home-Field Advantage

The NFL Playoffs are here! For many a fan, this is one of the most exciting times of the year because the Super Bowl is right around the corner and each weekend in January is full of meaningful playoff football. Commentators, pundits, analysts, and all forms of talking heads love to postulate about the importance of home-field advantage. First of all, few, if any, of these “experts” are actually sport psychologists, so they’re talking about an area in which they are not particularly well educated. The point of this post is to educate you a little bit on what research has shown regarding the home-field advantage, or lack thereof.

Home-field advantage describes the perceived advantage, usually a psychological advantage, that the home team is said to have over the visiting team as a result of playing in familiar facilities and in front of supportive fans. But the real question is this: Do teams really win more at home than on the road? If the answer to this questions is no, then the home-field advantage is nothing more than a myth or cliché. Here’s what the research says.

Research has shown that teams do win more at home during the regular season. This is particularly true in basketball and hockey where the home-court/home-ice advantage is quite large. The effect is not as big for baseball and football. Researchers guess that the difference lies in the nature of the sports themselves – flow of the game, proximity of the fans, fan interaction, etc.

End of story? Afraid not. Despite slightly dated research here, Baumeister & Steinhilber (1984) found that the home-field advantage might be lost and possibly turn into a disadvantage once a team moves from the regular season to the post-season. In the World Series from 1924-1982 in series that went at least five games, the home team won 60% of the first two games … but only 40% of the last two games. Even more interesting, in the series that went a full seven games, the home team won only 38% of the time! Baumeister and Steinbilber found similar results in basketball. They concluded that the supposed “advantage” actually turned into a disadvantage as games became more critical and the pressure mounted.

Baumeister and Steinhilber’s findings have been replicated in an investigation of golf performance. Wright, Jackson, Christie, McGuire, and Wright (1991) looked at data on performance in the British Open Golf Championship and found that the scores of contending British golfers (or “home” players) deteriorated more than those of contending foreign players from the first to the final round. Additionally, Wright and Voyer (1995) found that ice hockey players who play in front of a supportive audience (i.e. home ice) perform less successfully than visiting players when they have the chance to capture a championship.

How did this happen? Further analysis indicated that in-game performance, measured by the simple statistics collected during every sporting event, varied between the home team and the visiting team. The home team had a significant decrease in performance while the visiting team maintained consistent performance throughout the playoffs. Researchers suggest that players put too much pressure on themselves to perform well in front of the home crowd while the visiting players have less expectations and can just go out and play.

Really, point number three is the key. Until the home-court advantage can be completely validated, gamble lightly when it comes to picking postseason winners based on where they’re playing. And of course, none of this research investigated professional football (maybe checkout the Football Freakonomics article below for a counterpoint).

 

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Cinderella

Since my wife (the beautiful Kelly Ruiz) and I starting having kids, we’ve toned down some of the media that runs through our house. One of the things our kids have enjoyed the most is the music we listen to. We’ve spent a lot of time listening to Christian rock and pop (often known as “contemporary Christian music” or CCM). The lyrics are clean, the tunes are catchy, and the message is uplifting. Aside from catchy tunes, most mainstream music doesn’t offer the peace of mind that CCM does for us as parents.

One of the artist we don’t listen to too often is Steven Curtis Chapman. In 2007, which was before we started listening to CCM, Chapman released a song called Cinderella. I want you to check out these lyrics (or view the video posted below) and then the story behind the song, and even more interesting, the story after the release of the song:

She spins and she sways
To whatever song plays
Without a care in the world
And I’m sitting here wearing
The weight of the world on my shoulders


It’s been a long day
And there’s still work to do
She’s pulling at me
Saying “Dad, I need you

There’s a ball at the castle
And I’ve been invited
And I need to practice my dancing
Oh, please, Daddy, please?”


(Chorus) So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
‘Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don’t want to miss even one song
‘Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she’ll be gone…


She says he’s a nice guy and I’d be impressed
She wants to know if I approve of the dress
She says, “Dad, the prom is just one week away
And I need to practice my dancing
Oh, please, Daddy, please?”


(Chorus)

Well, she came home today with a ring on her hand
Just glowing and telling us all they had planned
She says, “Dad, the wedding’s still six months away
But I need to practice my dancing
Oh, please, Daddy, please?”

(Chorus)

And she’ll be gone…  

Okay –  We have a four year old daughter … and she is my Cinderella. There is nothing, NOTHING, like a beautiful little girl who is all yours.

She calls me Daddy.

It’s magical … and she’s all mine.

So this song is powerful to me. I heard it on the radio and wanted to check out the lyrics online to make sure

Me and my Cinderella

I heard it right. I ended up on Wikipedia and found out the genesis of the song and what happened after he wrote it. This is crazy stuff and completely redefines the song:

One night he was on parent duty, giving bathes and put his two youngest daughters to bed. They were stalling him, putting on their Cinderella gowns, while he was trying to do it quick so he could put them to bed and go to his studio to work, even refusing to read them a story that night. After  walking out of their room, he remembered his oldest daughter, now out of the house, and how he had rushed through some moments in her childhood because of his career. He didn’t want to do it again now with his younger daughters. He then felt guilty for neglecting them and started writing this song to remind himself to cherish the moments he could with his family, regardless of how brief and simple they might be.

It would be cool if the story ended there: a talented father writing an ode to his children. But there’s more. What happened after the song is what really makes this story special:

Several months after writing the song, in May 2008, his youngest daughter, Maria Sue, died as a result of an accident in the family driveway. It probably goes without saying that the song took on a whole new meaning for the Chapman family. He says it had originally been written as a message to love and cherish parenthood while it lasted, but it acquired another message of the frailty of life and how suddenly it can change. After his daughter’s death, Chapman has said he was “pretty sure [he] would never sing the song again”. He has since come to terms with it and does perform the song as part of his show.

What would I do if my daughter died? It breaks my heart to even think about the possibility. Read the lyrics again and I dare you not to be moved.

What do you think?

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2012 in Family, Personal

 

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My Suggested Reading List for Professional Development in Performance Psychology

I love to read. In truth, I prefer fiction to nonfiction but my job requires me to keep up with the current happenings in the field. What you’ll find below are my suggestions for the best offerings in the broad field of performance psychology. You’ll see a lot of emphasis on positive psychology, sport/exercise, and faith-based books. I think there’s a lot of breadth in these selections and hopefully a little something for everyone.

I’d love YOUR suggestions on things to read or your thoughts on the books I’ve listed. I’ll also update the list from time to time.

Armstrong, L., & Jenkins, S. (2001). It’s not about the bike: My journey back to life. New York: The Berkley Publishing Group.

Biswas-Diener, R., & Dean, B. (2007). Positive psychology coaching: Putting the science of  happiness to work for your clients. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Covey, S. R. (1989). The seven habits of highly effective people: Restoring the character ethic. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Csikszentmihaly, M. (1990). Flow: The psychology of optimal experience. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers.

Csikszentmihaly, M. (1997). Finding flow: The psychology of engagement with everyday life. New York: BasicBooks.

Davis, M., Eshelman, E. R., McKay, M. (2008). The relaxation & stress reduction workbook, 6th Edition. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.

Dungy, T., & Whitaker, N. (2007). Quiet strength: The principles, practices, & priorities of a winning life. Carol Stream,IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Frankl, V. E. (1992). Man’s search for meaning: An introduction to logotherapy, 4th Edition. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

Fredrickson, B. (2007). Positivity: Groundbreaking research reveals how to embrace the hidden strength of positive emotions, overcome negativity, and thrive. New York: Crown Publishers.

Halden-Brown, S. (2003). Mistakes worth making: How to turn sports errors into athletic excellence. Champaign,IL: Human Kinetics.

Hardy, L., Jones, G., & Gould, D. (1996). Understanding psychological preparation for sport: Theory and practice of elite performers. Chichester, West Sussex, England: Wiley.

Jackson, S., A., & Csikszentmihaly, M. (1999). Flow in sport: The keys to optimal experiences and performances. Champaign,IL: Human Kinetics.

Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, F. P. (2009). Joining together: Group theory and group skills, 10th Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Lucado, M. (2006). Facing your giants: A David and Goliath story for everyday people. Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

Lucado, M. (2004). It’s not about me: Rescue from the life we thought would make us happy. Nashville,TN: Integrity Publishers.

MacDonald, G. (2004). A resilient life: You can move ahead no matter what. Nashville,TN: Nelson Books.

Maxwell, J., C., & Dornan, J. (1997). Becoming a person of influence: How to positively impact the lives of others. Nashville,TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Murphy, S. (2005). The sport psych handbook: A complete guide to today’s best mental training techniques. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Nakamura, R. M. (1996). The power of positive coaching. Boston, MA: Jones and Bartlett.

Niven, D. (2003). The 100 simple secrets of healthy people: What scientists have learned and how you can use it. San Francisco, CA: HarperCollins.

Niven, D. (2001). The 100 simple secrets of happy people: What scientists have learned and how you can use it. San Francisco, CA: HarperCollins.

Orlick, T. (2008). In pursuit of excellence, 4th Edition.Champaign,IL: Human Kinetics.

Peck, M. S. (1978). The road less traveled: A new psychology of love, traditional values and spiritual growth. New York: Touchstone.

Porter, K. (2003). The mental athlete: Inner training for peak performance in all sports. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Rotella, B., & Cullen, B. (1995). Golf is not a game of perfect. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Seligman, M. E. P. (1990). Learned optimism: How to change your mind and your life. New York: Free Press.

Seligman, M. E. P. (2002). Authentic happiness: Using the new positive psychology to realize your potential for lasting fulfillment. New York: Free Press.

Vealey, R. S. (2005). Coaching for the inner edge. Morgantown,WV: Fitness Information Technology.

Vernacchia, R. A. (2003). Inner strength: The mental dynamics of athletic performance. Palo Alto, CA: Warde Publishers, Inc.

Vernacchia, R., McGuire, R., & Cook, D. (1996). Coaching mental excellence: It does matter whether you win or lose. Portola Valley, CA: Warde Publishers, Inc.

Warren, F. (2005). PostSecret: Extraordinary confessions from ordinary lives. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Warren, R. (2002). The purpose driven life. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

Wooden, J., & Tobin, J. (2004). They call me coach. Chicago, IL: Contemporary Books.

Wootten, M., & Gilbert, B. (1997). A coach for all seasons: The Morgan Wootten story. Indianapolis, IN: Masters Press.

 

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A lesson in racism: “She’s the one in the purple dress.”

It was probably just a small thing, but upon reflection, maybe it was something more.

Here’s the scene: I was watching President Obama’s job speech last Thursday night with my kids. Being four, three, and one years old, they were not particularly interested in Barry’s new plan. But our oldest, Malachi, was interested in identifying people he knows (which in this joint session of Congress amounted to the President and his wife). There were surprisingly few shots of Michelle, but when the camera finally cut to her, Malachi didn’t recognize her immediately. So I prompted him with the classic parental goto question, “Who’s that Malachi?”

“That’s the President’s wife.”

“Which one’s the President’s wife?”

“She’s the one in the purple dress.”

Now, I didn’t think anything of it at the time. I was just proud and happy that he identified the President’s wife. I also didn’t note that the dress is NOT purple, but fuchsia; turns out the dress also has some historical significance. Read about it here.

A couple of days later when I was out for a run (just as an aside, my best thinking comes from three places: 1) when I’m running, 2) when I’m in the shower, and 3) when I’m sitting on the toilet.) and an interesting thought came to me: Malachi didn’t identify Mrs. Obama by her color, but rather by the color of what she was wearing.

Think about it: when you typically identify people in a crowd, if there is a distinguishing physical characteristic, that’s how you identify them: the black guy or the Asian woman or the blonde. I don’t know if type of identification is racist (obviously not in the case of the blonde), but it does highlight the fact that we have a very hard time seeing past someone’s physical characteristics. How far of a reach is it to beginning to develop racist thoughts? I don’t know that either. But there is research that offers a suggestion: Stanley Gains and Edward Reed published a paper in a 1995 edition of the American Psychologist arguing that “racism is not a universal feature of human psychology but a historically developed process. Racism begins with the exploitation of people or peoples and with the psychological consequences to which that exploitation leads.” They argue against the classic models of Gordon Allport (1954/1979) and W. E. B. DuBois (1903/1969) regarding “the origins of prejudice and the impact of discrimination on the personality and social development”. What I read in Gains and Reed is that racism is learned. For something to be learned, it must first be taught or modeled.

While adults may have answered my question to Malachi with, “She’s the tall black woman”, my four-year-old son didn’t see her skin color and identified her in a different way. My family has an interesting history with race (see the postscript below for more detail), and our children have definitely been exposed to different races. The small town we live in is situated in rural-ish Indiana and is probably 95% white – not exactly a beacon of diversity, although there are initiatives to change that.

Because of my history with race, it’s on my mind quite often, and I’ve wondered what our children notice and process regarding skin color. Apparently, they haven’t started to pick up on race yet, and I think their innocence is a really cool thing.

What do you think?

____________________________________________

Postscript:

My parents are some of the most extraordinary people you’d ever care to meet. All three of their children are adopted, and all three of us are from racially diverse backgrounds. I am half Puerto Rican; my brother is Puerto Rican-Mexican and looks black; my sister is Mexican. (My dad is also diverse: his father immigrated from Mexico and married an Irish girl.)

I was adopted as an infant in the late 70’s, and my brother was adopted as an infant just months before the beginning of the 1980s. We grew up in an area of southern Illinois outside of St. Louis that was quite racist, and a racially diverse family was a radical concept. My mother has told us stories of having my brother and I at the grocery store and people coming up to her and making rude comments about having a black baby. My toddler brother was once identified by a redneck driving by our house as a “nigger”, which he thought was pretty funny because he knew he was a “hick-spanic” (his pronunciation of “Hispanic”, which was the politically correct term during that era). As toddlers, we were once taking baths together and I asked, “Why does his skin not get clean?”; as far as I know, that’s the only time as a kid that I noticed a difference between my brother and me.

Growing up, I was the only “white guy” (which is how I look – my PR heritage doesn’t come through in my skin color) I knew who had a black brother. Luckily, we participated in a Christian community in the greater St. Louis area which, because of the efforts of groups like this, had other families like ours, so as we passed through high school, we knew there were others like us.

I love my brother more than I can express. He’s now a county cop outside of Atlanta and married to a Panamanian girl. They have an absolutely beautiful daughter who has a crazy mass of hair (it reminds me of Buckwheat from the old Little Rascals show). When you throw in our Mexican sister, our family pictures continue to defy convention, and as more grandkids are added to my parents’ count, the crazier the pictures look.

Because we live so far apart and because life has taken us in different directions, I don’t get to see my brother and his family very often. But I love that my children occasionally have the opportunity to see their parents love people of other races. They don’t think their Uncle Nathan or little cousin are different – they see them the same way I do.

In 2007 with our firstborns

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2011 in Family, Personal, Social Commentary

 

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