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All my life, I've always been in the minority in many areas. Growing up in the deep south in the 70's, there were very few Asians in my classes and in the community. In primary and secondary school, I didn't fit in with the "in" crowd and didn't even fit in with the "out" crowds either. And being Taiwanese puts me further in the minority. I grew up only hearing Taiwanese in my family and never got to learn Mandarin before college.

At college, I could not see myself as a member of a fraternity. And the atmosphere at college was that frats were where all the action was. I became a Christian in college and further experienced what it's like being in the minority. Not that Christians are a minority, but being part of a Charismatic church fellowship isn't exactly mainstream.

Though growing up as a minority is difficult, I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. I have many times wanted to just "fit in" throughout my life. But, I have come to realize that I am created special. Perhaps I haven't fully realized that yet, but I'm getting a better understanding of it.

One thing good about being in the minority is that it forces you to learn at least two positions, the minority position and the majority position. Take for example the American culture. It is arguably the dominant culture in the world. Turn on the TV in any other country and you can see American programming. But, do we see much foreign programming here in the US? No. Being in another country allows you to learn at least two cultures. Here in the US, we only learn about the US culture.

Being in the minority also has given me an understanding of what it means to be discriminated against. Though I haven't had a lot of discrimination against me, I have experienced some. And it has shaped my view on life and allowed me to have some empathy for others who have experienced discrimination.

I like to consider myself an independent thinker. Even in the context of the Taiwanese community and the Christian community, I have experienced conflict of opinions over major issues. And I think being in the minority helps to train me to be an independent thinker rather than just blindly following any position.

Being in the minority provides me the chance of choosing the best from different sides. There are some good things to the American culture, and some bad. As well, there are some things good in the Taiwanese culture, some bad. I have attended a Charismatic church for a number of years and a Presbyterian church for a number of years. And there are both good and bad things in both. And I at least have multiple options to choose from having experienced more than one side.

Posted: 2004-10-12 22:47:40

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