Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Friending TCK's

I have friended people on Facebook that I haven't seen or heard from in over thirty years. Some of them last heard from me forty-five years ago. These are friends that grew up with me in the middle of Venezuela in the Sixties, and others from Ecuador in the early and mid Seventies. I now spend more time interacting with them than I do with all the friends I met since then. It could be just because they were there during my formative years and friends from those years are indelible to everyone, but I think there's more to it in the case of TCK's.

We share a common bond and it transcends differences. Differing political and religious views take a back seat to that bond of growing up as foreigners in foreign lands. We reminisce about the experience and most of us keep up on the goings-on in those places. Many return to visit and some never leave those places.

And it's even more than that. I know what I'm getting when I friend a TCK. They are less bigoted and prejudiced, on the whole, than the rest of the population. It's a fact. And they tend to be more educated - four times more likely than the average person to receive undergraduate and graduate degrees - and it's not because they're smarter or richer. It's because their eyes have been opened to a whole new world of possibilities and it makes little sense for them to stop learning more and more about it. I know it sounds uppity, but it isn't intended to be. I mean, who wouldn't want to surround themselves with people who have been there and done that; who don't judge books from the covers; who know that Bolivia isn't a country in Africa and that they speak Spanish there? Who wouldn't want to be a part of that informed perspective of the world?

Of course, my cadre of non-TCK friends tends to reflect these qualities, too. It's just natural that I would gravitate to them. Open minded? Well traveled? Read a lot? Rational? Fret that the international community seems decidedly anti-American, but really know first-hand why? Wish you could do something about it or, in fact, do do something about it? Then you are a friend of mine - whether you are a TCK or not.

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