A friend and I recently ate at a sushi restaurant. As the food came, I noticed the waitress only put a pair of chopsticks in front of me. No fork, spoon, or spork! I jokingly commented to my friend something about a fork being American, to which she replied with a grin on her face about how open-minded I was being.

It got me to wondering, though, how true that comment was. I have recently befriended an internationally diverse group playing volleyball. The countries represented are France, Germany, Iran, Russia, and Bosnia. Each one of them, with fantastic accents, speak English perfectly. I find myself enthralled by their ability and willingness to speak multiple languages.

Yes, they are living in the United States and should speak the native tongue. But my point is bigger. How open am I to trying new things, taking on new challenges, or putting myself in situations that are out of my comfort zone? Whether it’s using chopsticks or learning a new language, opportunities to grow abound. But I must step out beyond my well-built walls of self-preservation to find and experience them.

Back to the chopsticks…. I did ask for a fork after failed attempts to eat my salad. But not long after getting my security blanket (a.k.a. the fork), I gave the sticks another go. I finished my meal using them. Not an overwhelming accomplishment, but I can’t help feel like I grew a tad because of it.


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