Sep 16, 2009 - Debriefing short term mission experiences Those who debrief their experience shortly after they return home are able to assimilate their experience more effectively into their world view. - Read More
Aug 18, 2009 - Why the Swing?The swing has become for me a symbol of global transition. - Read More
Why the Swing?
Date: August 18, 2009
Some things grow on you. That’s how it was with the swing. When my artist sent me the Global Transition Resources logo I liked it (said with some hesitation). I liked how it went together artistically. I liked the family feel—many or perhaps most people transition with their families. But the first question I asked myself was “Why the swing?”It didn’t take long before the logo’s potential began to dawn on me, however. My question changed to—“Why not the swing?” The swing has become for me a symbol of global transition.
Individuals and families that work overseas, transition between their host country and their home country—often multiple times. Kind of like a swing--back and forth.
To get onto a swing is to give up the familiar, to give up control. We are no longer firmly anchored. We decide to trust where we are seated and the ropes that hold us. We are taking a risk. The first time we sit on a swing we do not know what to expect. Sound like a global move?
There is something about sitting on a swing, rising higher and higher in the air that brings out the child in us.What a way to approach a new adventure! Like a child.
Sometimes we feel small—like a frustrated or discouraged child. We can’t communicate our thoughts in our new language. We commit cultural faux pas and feel embarrassed. The child within us is stifled.Why not let out the true child? Be playful. Look around with wonderment. Ask questions. Laugh at ourselves. Give ourselves a break. Enjoy each moment.Observe with curiosity. Doesn’t that feel better?
It takes work to get the swing to go higher and higher. And it takes work to make the transition to a new language and culture. As children we thought the work of sitting and moving our legs out, under, out, under or standing and bending at the knees to gain momentum and height was worth the effort. Whee!! I hope any of my readers who are making a global transition will find their efforts worth making.
The last reason I like the logo is a very person alone. One of the earliest pictures of me as a child in the country of my childhood—Ethiopia—is on a swing. The picture was snapped as I moved closest to the photographer. On my face is a look of exhilaration but also anxiety. I was holding tightly to the ropes.
For my readers who are in the midst of a global transition, may you have moments of exhilaration even when you are experiencing some anxiety. Hold on and enjoy the ride.
**I love to empower individuals and families who are transitioning back and forth between their home and host culture. Please contact me and together we can explore how I can be of assistance.