As Thanksgiving approaches, the times that people take to be still and be thankful seem more frequent. There are constant reminders about how important appreciation for the little things is. When people gather around the table for Thanksgiving dinner, they will typically be asked, “What are you thankful for?” This year, TCKs were asked, “What are you thankful for about being a TCK?”
When looking through all the responses, two words in particular stuck out: experience and worldview. The experiences that come with being a TCK truly do shape the way one views the world. Experiencing foreign countries and new cultures helps TCKs focus on the bigger picture of the world, and it is definitely something to treasure. Throughout their lives, they are constantly taught to focus on the people and cultures around them rather than themselves. Since they frequently step outside the box of their own world to experience other people’s worlds, they broaden their mindsets.
A few TCKs were also thankful for the friendships that have come as a result of their time overseas. According to one response, the “international web of friendships” that has been created due to being a TCK is something they have learned to appreciate. Having friends all over the world can be such a rewarding experience. These types of friendships learn from each other in unique ways as they find out new things about each others’ cultures. TCKs have had the opportunity to “meet people they could never have imagined knowing,” and build strong friendships that have the potential to last a lifetime. Building friendships in different countries ultimately helps TCKs stayed connected to the places they live in and eventually leave. It can be incredibly refreshing and comforting to know that one has a friend they can call and still rely on even if they are across the world.
Travel is another major factor TCKs show thankfulness for. Airports become like a second home to them while they travel from country to country. From young ages, they are given the opportunity to travel to foreign lands, and oftentimes a TCK will have traveled to more countries than many adults they know. Traveling to interesting places also helps form the worldview of TCKs.
In the long run, the interesting people that TCKs build friendships with can change their lives for the better. As TCKs, they are given the unique ability to travel, meet new, diverse friends, and experience cultures unlike their own at young ages. Though the experience comes with its own struggles, there is a multitude of benefits that come from being a TCK, which many can be thankful for.
It is important to take time this particular fall season to go to God in worship of Him and all that he has done since “every good and perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17 ESV). Pausing to be grateful for the people and things God has given is important at all times for each and every person, even when it is not Thanksgiving. Rather than focusing on all that we do not have, focusing on what God has given will lead to a deeper fellowship with him and a sense of the bigger picture that is life.