Dominant Influences of My Cultural Shaping Part 5: Light at the End of the Tunnel

The cultural values I currently hold from my Mexican ethnicity include family closeness
and responsibility, attending church regularly, attending all family functions, cooking, food, and celebration, as well as dressing up, and lastly being a hard and persevering worker.

On the other hand, the values that I carry from my American culture include being punctual to events, as mentioned above freedom of expression, education, and growing as an individual.

Selfie by Me (Ana Barajas)

My basic human nature is to be loving, kind, a fighter, having a child-like spirit, and holding up healthy boundaries; these in conjunction with service, community, and faith I can attribute to the intersectionality of both cultures.

I have had conversations and life experiences with people of different cultures including Asians, African-Americans, whites and Hispanics of all types and I do not see much difference in core values like family ties, food, and celebration, or faith; everyone seeks to have faith in something. The differences lie in how people experience life events and what believe systems they begin to adopt as their own.

I believe that my life experiences and worldview will definitely influence other areas of my life. I might become triggered by Hispanic men, I may judge Hispanic women as weak, I may be afraid of people with blond hair and blues eyes, but I am learning that I am the type of woman who first seeks to understand the individual’s story. I have learned to place my biases to the side in order to be able to see, hear, and understand the story from the story teller’s perspective.

Moreover, I also welcome my positive experiences into trying to understand the
individual. My positive experiences with my Hispanic male pastor and my seventh grade white, blond and blue eyed teacher in essence prepared me to hold a healthy space in my heart for people who might cause a trigger in me.

Altogether, I try to manage value conflicts with others by first checking in with myself by being self-aware. Then I can move to understanding where the other’s values come from and what the values mean to that person; how are those values rooted in the person? Ultimately, I believe that I can invite the Holy Spirit to train me, teach me, and guide me along the way on how to do life with others in love and truth.

Thank you for following this series of posts on my racial identity formation.
To dig deep on yours you can ask the following questions:
  1. What is my ethnic and cultural background? What is the history of my ancestors?
  2. Where does my faith come from, my belief systems? What are my belief systems? (In race, culture: my own, other’s?)
  3. Who were key people in my racial identity formation, how?
  4. Was segregation encourage or not? How?
  5. What where my most memorable childhood memories about race?
  6. When and how did you discover your racial identity?
  7. What have been the most influential demographics in my overall identity formation?
  8. What are your cultural values?
  9. How do you understand other people groups?
  10. What have been  some positive or negative experiences with other people groups, or my own?

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