UNFUCD mission, continued
As we learned a few months back, the UNFUCD movement was developed to create happiness, one day at a time. The movement began with the mission of writing a thank you letter to a former teacher, and has now branched out to other ideas.
The new mission is to have a conversation with someone from a different faith or culture and see how their words may impact your outlook on life. Oddly for me, the first mission and this new mission have a connection.
My teacher thank you letter was addressed to a college communication professor, John Baldwin. One of the classes I took with Dr. Baldwin was an intercultural communication course, in which I conducted a project that required me to interview a series of international students.
As a result, I was able to speak with a number of people with different cultures and faiths other than my own. The study I was conducting was looking at how involvement on campus helped these particular students adjust to American life.
For the most part, the students had a positive experience during their time studying abroad. At the beginning of their studies, they were met with a number of school administrators and students who encouraged their participation in university activities.
A portion of the conversation was devoted to how their lives at home differed from their current lives in the United States. It was interesting to learn about the differences in academics and involvement from all over the world.
However, one particular student stood out among the rest in terms of adjustment to U.S. life. This student was a 25 year-old man from India studying economics. While most of my prior interviews had a feeling of positivity, this one was met with, at the very least, neutrality.
The student expressed his disappointment with how the university embraced him as an individual and he felt more isolated than included. He also stated that students in his class made little effort to interact with him, and he felt that this was because of that fact that he wasn’t “from here.”
[clickToTweet tweet=”Even though we’ve made strides as a nation, we still have a ways to go in terms of inclusivity #UNFUCD” quote=”After finishing the conversation, I reflected on what the student had said, and realized that, even though we’ve made strides as a nation, we still have a ways to go in terms of inclusivity.” theme=”style6″]
While this may have been an isolated incident with immeasurable factors, it was still an important reminder for me to always execute what’s been pressed upon me since kindergarten, “treat others the way you want to be treated.”