I have learned several new things in this course. First, I learned about the United States tax system, and also about civil discourse and its importance. I learned about the culture, the food, the dress and sports in India. I also learned about the caste system and social order of India. I learned the platinum rule of global citizenship which is, “do unto others as they would want done unto them”. We need to have an appreciation of the various cultures around the globe in order to get along. (I personally prefer the platinum rule to the golden rule – it makes you think more about the other person. It shows that you are really concerned and have made the step toward really understanding the other side.) You truly have to put yourself in the shoes of the other person and in this way, we can truly relate to each other.
I was surprised by the platinum rule because I had never thought of things in that way before. It is a logical approach to human relations. Much of the Indian culture was surprising to me, particularly shame. I never realized how important shame is in India…bigger than in China. The caste system and inferiority of women was surprising as well.
I understood the basics of the tax system before this course, but my understanding was confirmed. Although I was not familiar with the actual term “civil discourse”, I was aware of the concept and knew how desperately we needed to return to this type of political and social discussion. Our politicians really need a refresher course.
I can’t really say that I un-learned anything. I learned new things and had other things confirmed but I don’t believe that I un-learned anything. Our tendency to be concerned with ourselves, and think that issues in other countries don’t impact us is wrong. I suppose we need to unlearn the golden rule – others don’t always want us to do to them as we want done to ourselves. We have to learn to truly walk in the shoes of our global neighbors.
The children are our future and their lens must be widened before it’s too late. The global perspective must be developed over time. The required skills to live in a global community must be taught early on to ensure the children, as they grow, are able to perceive the world in its entirety.
I know that I will teach my children what I have learned. I can also talk to my younger brother and his friends, and share my knowledge and perspective with other students. I can talk with my parents and teachers and look for ways to expand our view of the world – but to make the world a smaller place as we connect with the global citizenry. I hope to be able to help in other ways, although I’m not sure what they are yet.