I am not trying to criticize anyone in the Gustavus community because we are all here to learn, and there are different understandings of what being an educated and well-rounded person means to different people.
However, I think the Gustavus community is lacking something that is necessary for interacting with today’s more diverse world.
People in your future workplace or neighborhood might be from different states or countries, they might be from a hometown with 3 million people compared to yours with 10,000.
They might speak different languages and face coming-of-age obstacles that might be totally different from yours.
You cannot assume that people have to adopt your ways because today’s world is not what it was 30 years ago when immigrants came here to seek economic refuge.
Today, people come here from all parts of the world to seek economic opportunities which mean, that they are not financially distressed at home, and they value America as a country of freedom, education, good environment, and political stability.
They don’t want to be here to experience ignorance and discrimination. They want mutual friendship and exchange of knowledge and culture.
You cannot be ignorant to think that everybody will understand you or other people should accommodate you or you can treat them as someone who is out of your little world.
They are in your world, and they want to be friends with you, to cooperate, to create more values for human societies.
Thus I strongly encourage Gusties to be more open-minded and to reach out to the international community and people who might have different cultural and economic backgrounds or even different personalities than yours.
I am not forcing you to make friends, but I am telling you not to judge a person with a colored glass before you really know them. And then you can decide whether he or she is worth a friend of yours.
It works equally well for everybody, no matter where you come from. I think that it is an important part of being a well-rounded and well-educated person, as important as your other college missions.
Yiyi Chen, ‘14