During a lunch conversation I had recently with a precious Brazilian friend of mine, she told me that she thought I’d do very well in Brazil. She said that I had the ‘lingo’ down. I loved Brazilian food. I was goofy and I liked to laugh.
Then I told her that I thought she’d do very well in America too. She so sweetly tells me, almost daily, “Nina, I LOVE YOU!” (In English…just about the only English she knows!) She despises apples dipped in peanut butter, but loves peanut butter balls. She loves to have cook-outs (or “Churrasco” in Portuguese) and she’s the most giving person I know.—-To my surprise she told me that she found Americans a bit ‘cold’ and ‘stand-offish’. After she spent time in 4 major American cities….Houston, Denver, Miami and one other that I can’t remember…she said that she didn’t really enjoy her time in America.
|Churrasco at our home a few weeks ago|
Her neighbors weren’t very friendly in America. —This made me pause to think……
|What would I have done had a Brazilian family moved into my neighborhood when I lived in the States? Would I have been stand-offish, judgemental, mean? Would I have allowed my kids to play with theirs?|
I’m ashamed to admit that…..especially now. Knowing what I now know and being where I am has changed me for the better. My adorable, goofy, precious, giving, thoughtful Brazilian friends have made such an impact on my life…..and the lives of my children.
Now, we are the foreigners. I know how it hurts to be treated badly, or even worse…ignored.
Americans are proud. Sometimes this is good, I believe. But mostly it’s bad. Lord, help us.