I thought it was interesting that the "Preparing Our Youth to Engage the World" publication began with a preface which stated: "From one admittedly privileged standpoint, this book should not be necessary". Part of me agrees with this statement, but another part of me recognizes that many people have not been as fortunate as I have, and may not see the world through the same lens that I do. In reading this article, I was reminded how lucky I was to have been afforded the opportunity to travel when I was young, that I was able to work overseas as an adult, that I was taught to be curious about the differences that I observed in my every day encounters (as well as in my travels), and that I was taught to value those differences. While many other folks in the BB&N community may have been afforded similar opportunities, I must recognize that we don't always live what we have learned.
Since I began working at BB&N, we have done a fair bit of work as a faculty to outline our values, and among them, we have stated that "we value a diverse and inclusive community that fosters respect for the identities and perspectives of all". This value in particular was in the forefront of my mind as I read these articles, as I wonder how well we as a community live this particular value. It seems to me that we need to back-up a bit and look locally before we are ready to think globally. This reading encouraged us to think about how we prepare our students to foster kinship, communicate effectively, value differences etc., in an effort to effectively engage the world, but I challenge us to consider how we can first get our students to engage - and value - each other.