This weekend we had a guest speaker at RCA Church. He was a first generation American who had fled Viet Nam with his family as a young child at the fall of Saigon. Listening to his harrowing stories of youth was mesmerizing. He is now a pastor and travels to spread the Word. It was very interesting to hear the blend of accents which incorporated Vietnamese, Oklahoma, and some laid back LA. Everywhere he has lived has added to his unique accent.
My life is like an accent. Every experience I have gone through has added a little bit of something to the way I look, sound, and act to the world. My childhood has helped to shape me. The ups and downs of life have molded me. My successes have fed my smile and my stumbles have contributed to my thoughtfulness. In coffee terms, life is NOT a single origin roast, but a complex (and often convoluted) blend.
Winston’s accent was wholly his own. To change it would be to change who he is. For me to change my past (or even to deny it) would result in an entirely different experience for the people that encounter me.
So we live with the accents…no, we revel in them. We celebrate them. We use them to help ourselves and others grow.