Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Asian American Women's Workshop

This weekend I went to "Origin of our Dreams" the Asian American Student Conference. Christie Heller de Leon was speaking (with Paul Tokunaga).

In the afternoon, I lead two workshops: one for Asian American women, and another for others ABOUT Asian American women.

The first session we discussed the accessories for life that our families, our campuses, society, and friends give us. In some ways we work hard to acquire the accessories for life that we think we'll need for the future--a specific degree, certain job experience, a significant other that reflects the life we want to grow into.

The second session had a pretty dynamic discussion. The men had a lot of questions to ask--it sounds like there's a lot of mystery and a lot of bites from Asian women. I appreciated the learning posture that so many men brought in. We talked about "what to Asian men do that makes the situation worse" and "How do you affirm Asian women--they get mad when I do, they get mad if I don't."

The thing that struck me is that so often, when we don't know what to do, we don't do anything at all. My exhortation to the guys was, "Try! Go out and get data! Each person is different, and you'll make loads of mistakes. Better to try and make lots of mistakes now, but be able to make educated guesses later."

I think there's a "curse of not-knowing" that paralyzes us from taking risks, especially in our Christian discipleship.

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