“Which country do you like better?” I get that question a lot when I tell people I’ve lived in different countries. I’m always a little at a loss for words since I love so many things about both countries and I also want to respect both countries.
When you’re living overseas, it’s hard not to constantly compare. When I was in Italy, I often thought about everything I was missing in the US. When I’m in the US, I think about what I miss in Italy. Playing that game doesn’t do any good – it just crushes contentment.
I recently read this quote on Pinterest, “Don’t promise when you’re happy, don’t reply when you’re angry, and don’t decide when you’re sad.” Though maybe a tad cheesy, there’s a lot of wisdom in that. And for TCKs, I would add “And don’t compare when you’re homesick.”
Not only does comparing steal your own joy, but it can hurt others. Often on facebook, I’ll read statuses that say something like “Italy won today…” with a long paragraph about the difficulties of living there and a string of comments from sympathetic Americans. While I often can completely understand the status after living there myself, I can’t help but hurt for any Italian who reads that. What kind of message is that to them?
As TCKs, we have so much knowledge of the world, and with it, responsibility. We know the good and the bad of our home cultures and our adopted cultures – what kind of picture are you going to paint with your words of your homes?