I’ve been meaning to post this, but it always seems to come to me when I’m not around a computer.
A couple of weeks ago I made a trip to Umphang & Noh Poe camp with Yim, who recently started working with me in Social Development. When we were on the way back, having already driven about eight hours of very curvaceous roads and staring at another two or three hours ahead of us, Yim asked if I needed her to drive. She said I looked tired–which I was. And then she said something along the lines of:
“White people, they have limits. But Karen, we are unlimited.”
Initially I was a little offended; as if I wanted to prove that I could handle something significant. Which, is untrue and unworthy of argument.
But the more I thought about it, I think my culture, “white people” if you’ll take it, teaches you find your limits. To create margin. To set boundaries.
Do you notice that those are all book titles?
We are taught to identify these lines to prevent ourselves from insanity, harm, sorrow, or pain.
I don’t see that in Karen culture. I see that they are willing to just keep going; or perhaps they have to. There are people to feed, lives to save, a country to secure. And honestly, there always have been, for at least what the recent generations have known.
So perhaps she was right. And her culture allows her to say it honestly!