Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will. -Romans 12:5 (NIV)
I have never been a ‘minority’ before, this I say coming from a country (Zimbabwe) that has a whole strip dedicated to me and mind on its flag. From pre-school through to high school, the girls were generally more than boys. At Africa University the enrollment ratio of female to male students is almost fifty-fifty, at that same place where there are students from around 30 countries of Africa and beyond , still ‘my kind’ were the majority. In my family, the guys are more than us girls, but growing up, I never felt like we were fewer-mainly because of my mothers’ presence. With her we were actually the majority. Thus my earlier statement that I have never been a ‘minority’ before is indeed true
So this is how my mind was operating and how I was viewing myself in the first days I was here in the foreign land of the Philippines, a place that is surrounded by things and people that are foreign to me and I to them as well. Already in my mind, I was viewing myself as a ‘minority’ in their eyes, unconsciously distancing myself from people. Of course in the eyes of society, that might be the case- there are minorities as well as dominant groups that were put up by society. But, who is society? What is society? The definition I found online on Wikipedia : A society is a group of people involved in persistent, societal interaction or a large social grouping sharing the same geographical or social territory, typically subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations. Societies are characterized by patterns of relationships (social relations)between individuals who share a distinctive culture and institutions …., this can be summarized as ‘the pattern of this world,’ the pattern of this world dictates that people have classes and groups we belong to, thus creating a lot of disparities and inequalities.
Prior to coming to the Philippines, I had never come in contact with a white (chicken) egg, if I had, I do not recall such. I grew up around what mind knew as ‘normal eggs’, normal brown eggs .The white once I only saw them from television. My mind had already registered that these were not normal eggs, so it was not surprising my taste buds received that message, and reported back to my brain that, “they did not taste like eggs,” I had also heard somewhere that brown eggs are healthier, that’s why they are valued at higher price. I did some research, only to find out that it is only a shell difference, the inside is pretty much the same, same nutritional value and all. There is no significant difference in the tastes either. Why should one care about the shell? It is what is inside that really matter. The same applies to people.
God is very artistic, that is why we have different colours everywhere, imagine how dull the world or the rainbow would be if it were all just in a single colour, and each one is of significant. As individuals, we should set our minds to think, not like this world, but in a manner, that pleases God. That is when we have a new definition of ‘my kind’, for we would all be of God.
Ecosystems Work for Essential Benefits (EcoWEB), Philippines
GMF International, Class 2015