Today I want to welcome my dear friend and the co-founder of Tricord Global to the blog. David Briggs is a trusted voice in my life. Beyond that, he really knows and understands the world of microfinance and social impact. In this post, he shares about the possibilities that arise when we step into another culture.
It amazes me how a single “door” can separate two “worlds”. Of course I am speaking metaphorically, but it is still pretty incredible to think about. A door is anything or anyone that invites you to pass from one environment or experience to another.
Before you discover or are made aware of a new door in your life, you are completely oblivious to what is on the other side of that door. You have no idea of the activity, possibilities, and people that are in that world.
Even if we are made aware of the existence of another world, people, or culture our response is impervious to its needs or its ability to strengthen us, because we see no connection or relevance to engage or interact with it. Once a door to that world presents itself we are confronted with several possibilities and questions that we must answer.
4 Possibilities When We Step Into Another Culture & Open a Door
An open door is not just information that is given to us but a real possibility of access to a world or place that we have never been. It is not only curiosity that compels us but the real possibility of loss if we do not accept the invitation. We are now confronted with our sense of adventure and the choice to pass through that door or not. The choice we make will determine if we will have gain or loss in our life’s experience.
For the first time, the choice to accept an invitation into this new world will affect our time and energy, our involvement and investment. It will determine our reward or regret over the choice we make. The invitation alone demands our attention and does not give us the privilege of being neutral any longer. Without a door, we can enjoy the passive safety of non-consideration because there is no real way to discover the reality or validity of that other world. But now that there is an invitation. All we have to risk is a choice and live with the results of that choice.
Tricord Global is an open door. Will you accept the invitation to walk through, make a difference, and change someone’s life forever? I have a feeling it will also change your life.
Once we pass through that door there is the real possibility that we will become a part of something. As we interact in this new world, we go through a learning process. We integrate with a group of people who are different from us and we briefly become incorporated into their world and their way of thinking and living. We clash with their worldview and culture and can even be a bit conflicted because of the feeling of absorption that comes from being a part of the minority culture instead of the dominant culture.
We begin to struggle with relevance or significance. We weigh out whether what we have to give to them has any importance or what they have to give to us has any importance. We also begin to struggle with the questions of application. How can we take what we both have to offer and make it applicable to each other’s worlds? We begin to ask real questions concerning sustainability. How can we contextualize our information so that it makes sense? How can we adapt what we know and want to do to fit within the infrastructure and lifestyle of this newfound world? What about what they know and want to do and the world from which we come?
Tricord Global is entering into the assimilation process through business training, money management training, and regular check-ins to ensure businesses are flourishing.
Now that we have expanded our world and sphere of influence and become integrated, how do we effectively paint a portrait of awareness between the relationships that we have in both worlds? One that attracts them to one another and entices them to engage one another, because they see the mutual benefit of such an involvement?
We must not only stimulate the thinking of people. They must also be touched in their senses with things that cause an attraction and produce a willingness to interact. This must be accomplished in order to foster the believability in that mutual benefit and the necessity of the investment of time and resource.
We’re fostering relationship with the individuals who take out a loan through Tricord Global. Our team meets with them, trains them, teaches them, and even shares the gospel of the Kingdom with them!
4. Bridge Building
This is our willingness to become the door of opportunity through which others can pass and gain the advantage of expanding their worlds. This allows their skills and passions to advantage and develop others. At the same time, the people we bring in are being strengthened by the life, skills, and resources of the new world to which they have been introduced and the new relationships there. In essence, we become a model of sustainability and connectedness.
I am overwhelmed by the bridge building happening in Uganda. Business owners are mending entire cities through new school buildings, reforestation, markets, and transportation!
Let me encourage you to expand your relationships and give yourself permission to walk through the doors made available to you. Who knows, you might discover a whole new world and environment to which you were totally unaware.
You might find a place where your life, skills and resources can be utilized to benefit others while providing a place for your passion to be fulfilled!
Thanks for sharing, David! This is exactly what happens when Tricord Global partners overseas. We are always learning new things about new worlds, walking through doors and crossing bridges.