Have you ever felt like you didn’t belong? Like everyone else was in on the joke, but you. They had a way of talking and interacting that you didn’t quite understand, and you always felt awkward no matter how hard you tried to fit in. Let me give you an embarrassing example from my own life. Other than the second grade and half of the third grade, which I attended in Smyrna, Tennessee, my entire childhood and teen years were spent in areas of the country where 99 percent of the people were white. It wasn’t until I went to college, and later in the Air Force, that I really began to have relationships with people of other races and ethnicities. At first, I was awkward, but I was willing to put myself out there even if I got it wrong, because eventually I’ll figure it out and get it right.
Copyright © Dr. Mark E. Hardgrove 2017
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