March 11, 2019, Gyong-Meon, South Korea-
One of the questions I have been asked about the marriage of Aram and Yunhee is how I feel about my son marrying someone from another nation or culture. (“Race” is left out of this, thankfully. ) My answer is very simple: Aram has married a beautiful and highly intelligent young woman, who will bring great pride and joy to my family We, in turn, will bring a great deal of the same to her equally distinguished family.
There was a time, even during our previous living in Korea, when language and cultural differences cast all manner of misunderstandings and suspicion upon even the strongest of work relationships and faith community affairs. Slowly and carefully, we managed, by working together, to mitigate the worst of these. Aram, being an infant and toddler at the time, was largely spared the relatively few insults and personal attacks that came our way-not just from more hidebound people in this society, but from equally narrow-minded people on the eastern shore of the Pacific as well.
My friendship with the Shin and Park families has been instantaneous. There is none of the rancour or suspicion of the 1980’s and ’90’s to soil the life of the extended family. The growing pains have eased, and we have found that there is an authentic human bond.
This is as Baha’u’llah intended, in calling for the spiritual unification of the entire planet- before other forms of unity are truly realized This does not mean uniformity, which is the antithesis of true unity. We families will long cherish each other, much as those who were previously set, within the bounds of American culture, have proven enduring. It’s time for the next step forward, and the rising generations are leading the way. I am gladly following that lead.
NEXT: Chonju and its historical preservation