I have experienced the fairytale love story and girl or young woman can dream of. Yet I am now well aware of the fact that not everybody has this luxury and that many people in the world must struggle to find a proper source of income or they have to leave their families and go to far away countries to find a better life. After this course, I think that it is our duty to help these people, to be active and responsive to their needs.
As a result of my experience with the Vietnamese immigration issue I realized that in most cases foreigners tend to work more and better than the regular American. This is because we value or time and our efforts and because we can afford to do that. Others can't. Others must struggle to find food, to find shelter. And it is our duty to make their struggle easier.
In our society we rarely have problems related to food in the sense of lacking food or basic nurturing elements. Yet many throughout the world have this problem and we must help them. As part of this course, one of my assignments included an interview of an employee at the Institute for Food and Development policy. It was a great experience from many points-of-view. It pointed out the efforts being done by some who have in mind the difficult fate of those left without food. At the same time it allowed me to see the views and thoughts of those engaged in the activities. Although the report on the interview was comprehensive, it left out certain moving statements of John, the person being interviewed. He constantly mentioned the sense of helplessness he feels when he hears of people who died as a result of hunger and the limited possibilities of the initiative he is part of. Indeed, they are limited because not everybody is involved in it, not everybody is active. Yet, there would be so much more that could be done if action would be taken by all of us.
This course was a source of inspiration, of learning, and at the same time of self-reflection. It was inspirational because I came to know different stories of peoples, of communities, and of individuals that inspired be to become a better person. It was the type of lesson one receives a child and which stay with you in the future influencing your future activities.
It was a learning process through the discussions we had on the forum and through the opinions we exchanged throughout. It resembled to a brainstorming operation where everybody stated their mind and allowed the others to discuss on it. From this point-of-view, I can sincerely say that it was a rewarding experience.
Finally it was the catalyst for a self-reflection process. I realized that honesty and sincerity are some of the most important attributes of an individual. My family has always stressed these things out but sometimes when you feel that time is running out or that the pressure of studying, getting a degree but at the same time learning the most of these studies is becoming unbearable we tend to forget or leave aside honesty, especially academic honesty. I realized the gravity of this aspect when I was myself the victim of this trap. Although I knew that different opinions must never be inserted in a paper without offering full credit to the author by proper citation of the source, I fell pray to this academic dishonesty. For this I am really sorry and I am now aware of the fact that what matters are the result and the peace of mind one has to have for achieving a good thing. As we feel a sense of satisfaction for having helped someone, be it a Third World person, a Vietnamese, or a hunger struck old woman, we must also feel satisfaction for an assignment we made which respects all academic criteria. I was not satisfied with myself and I decided never to do a job I am not satisfied with, regardless of the field of activity.
Overall, I can say that this was indeed a good experience, both from an academic point-of-view as well as from a personal one.