2 thoughts on “Figurehead Diplomat or Real Ambassador?

  1. I missed this when you first published it but I like it.

    I really liked your image that we are all called to be ambassadors: to share the mission of our church with the other communities that we are part of. And especially how we can’t “go native” – it doesn’t serve anyone well, especially for Jesus’s ambassadors.

    It was specifically not being able to spout the US gov’t party line that kept me from entering the US Foreign Service after college.

    Here on my desk as I’m typing, I can see my fancy diploma (in Latin!) from the Scholae Rerum Exterarum (School of Foreign Service for those of us who don’t read Latin, um, including me). An awful lot of my classmates went into the US Foreign Service after graduation. We used to have a running joke about how big of a dork you had to be to qualify for the State department. For real.

    The most valuable things I learned in college were not geography or economics, although I studied both, but all about language. How to write clearly, how to speak more than one language, how to understand that what I would mean by a word or phrase or gesture is not necessarily what you mean by the same words or gesture.

    I think these are also keys to being a good ambassador. From any culture to anywhere.

    All this, and how to balance a plate and a glass in one hand while shaking hands with the other hand, in only four years!


  2. Wow, Robin, this is cool to learn about you. I imagine you’ve got lots of stories behind those experiences. I think you’re dead on about what’s valuable in education. It’s really hard to convey that to people going through high school and college, but I wish we could.


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