Updated: Aug 10, 2022
In the past four weeks, students in the Buddies Without Borders Online Forum - Be the Change looked into how "kindness" can be interpreted through different cultural lenses and social expectations. Misunderstanding can lead to "unkindness" easily.
Fortunately, we can be intentional about performing random acts of kindness, just by being mindful of other people's needs. We also recognize that sometimes being kind, whether it is to ourselves, to our teammates, or to our family and friends, is not as easy as it seems. We may be frustrated when they don't see what we see and act the way we think they should. What should we do?
We learned that as long as we have different background stories, social expectations and different future interests, conflicts will happen. Several guest speakers have shared with us techniques to deal with conflicts. We learned that although sometimes defending our position is necessary, there are other (better) ways to achieve peace and happiness. After all, who wants to be wrong? Who wants to lose an argument? Who wants to be defeated?
All this leads us back to the spirit of this Forum: being kind is the best strategy for changing the world. There are many ways to make "being kind" our life's work, including volunteering in community services such as our internship partner Leadership Initiative's work in Nigeria, our fellowship partner A Tree That Grows' work in Tanzania, and our BWB Clubs' work in more than a dozen countries in the world currently.
As we get ready to wrap up the Be the Change: Creating a Kinder World forum, our final session's speaker will be someone who has chosen to work and research in the field of Psychology focusing on international education as a Ph.D. student: Ms. Sabrina Bahir.
Sabrina's research focuses on the eradication of statelessness in Côte d'Ivoire, West Africa, in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). A former private school principal and volunteer ambassador to Ukraine on behalf of Israel, Sabrina Bahir is the Director of Global Enrollment Management at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in the U.S. Sabrina's Destination Workshop is open to Forum alumni and Club members. Click to sign up.
What's next? The October Forum Zero Hunger Zero Waste is now open for application - we look forward to hearing your ideas and thoughts on how we can address the issues around food insecurity and climate change. As Bono and Greta Thunberg mentioned - everyone needs to get involved if we ever want to solve this global problem. Join us!