Becoming Multicultural: Learning to navigate a complex world by using multiple approaches

Chapter 34 of Waking Up White: and finding myself in the story of RACE by Debbie Irving

Think of a major change you’ve made in your life – a marriage, a divorce, a move, a new job, a lost job. List the strengths and skills you lost as a result of the change. List the strengths and skills you gained.

Oh, wow. What she is talking about here is liminal space. According to Wikipedia “In anthropology, liminality (from the Latin word līmen, meaning “a threshold”) is the quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage of rituals, when participants no longer hold their pre-ritual status but have not yet begun the transition to the status they will hold when the ritual is complete.”

Followers of this blog know that I truly believe the time in liminal space is the only time anyone ever really learns anything. Here is a post I wrote a couple of years ago about the complexity of my life in liminal space.

We have to tear our “white” self apart in order to learn to appreciate the “other” – the African American, the Native American, the Muslim, the Kenyan, the Philippino  – all of these people have enriched and informed my life through the years. Thanks be to God!

If you would like to join me as I blog about my experiences with race, please read the book. It was life changing for me.

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