Column: Find the power in proximity

Connie E, editorial columnist
Connie E, editorial columnist

تصفح هذا الموقع The millennials are a socially conscious and politically active generation. We get infuriated by the state of the country, we are champions of social justice, we go on streets to protest and some of us even aspire to devote our career to make the world a better place. Yet, how much do we actually understand the problems that we’re trying to solve, or the people that we’re trying to help? Ever since I was a kid, I’ve wanted to “make a difference” in the world—but what difference exactly? It wasn’t clear to me until I came to college. My passions are in international development and public policy. It wasn’t until this summer that I realized the power of proximity.

الخيارات الثنائية المجاني الرسوم البيانية المباشرة

انظر هذا هنا Bryan Stevenson is a lawyer, a social justice champion and is often described as the living Martin Luther King Jr. He created the Equal Justice Initiative that is dedicated to ending mass incarceration in the United States and challenging racial and economic injustice. When he delivered a speech to Northeastern freshmen at the beginning of this semester, he mentioned four key points on how to “change the world,” the first and most important being getting proximate to the problem that you’re trying to solve. It struck a chord with me because, while there is a plethora of Westerners going to poor communities and trying to help, few of them truly understand what the communities need.

سهلة إشارات الخيارات الثنائية
Photo courtesy of Connie E أسعار الذهب في الإمارات This summer, I had the privilege of going on a Dialogue of Civilizations to Cape Town, South Africa to study social entrepreneurship. It was an opportunity to be confronted with my own privileges, biases and ignorance. Before the Dialogue, the only preconceived notion I had was that South Africa would be somewhere in between Sub-Saharan Africa and the West in terms of economic development and culture. Little did I expect the sheer level of inequality and legacies of the apartheid era. I took the opportunity to be fully immersed in the culture, the people and their daily lives. My most memorable moment was when I was playing the violin for a classroom packed with children, their eyes all lit up and some of them even moved with the music.


شركات الاسهم الامريكية I spent a week volunteering at that kindergarten without speaking a single word of Xhosa, their local language, yet I was still able to establish such a connection with the children through music, body language, smiles and sometimes awkward sketches. As an English-speaking, Chinese volunteer hailing from the United States, there were moments of cultural shock and discomfort. But it was also those interactions that made me feel like a part of the community. I gained a deeper understanding of the people that I aspire to help through NGO work or policy.

بيع وشراء الذهب في السعودية

اذهب الآن As I left South Africa and returned to the comfortable life of being a college student, I thought a lot about how to process my new perspective on privilege and poverty, as well as let those moments of discomfort be a constant reminder of the inequality that still exists not only on the other side of the world, but also in my own communities. Stevenson’s speech brought incredible clarity and direction to my clustered thoughts and feelings from South Africa. Stevenson himself had a humble upbringing in Montgomery, Alabama. After graduating from Harvard Law School, he turned down well-paying jobs on the East Coast and chose to return to the South where racial injustice and mass incarceration are more prevalent. In other words, he chose to get proximate to the incarcerated people that he is trying to help.

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نصائح لشراء الذهب Whatever you are passionate about doing, there is a purpose behind the work and a community the work will benefit. This is an invitation for you to question your assumptions about what you already knew, and to actually immerse yourself within the people and community. There is power in proximity.

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