Students should learn to love others, not just themselves

“Think of your closest friends. Think of your family members. The people that are closest to you and that you love the most. Why do you love them? Probably, it is because they share common interests, backgrounds, and tastes with you. They enjoy the same movies or music, maybe practice the same religion.”

Think of your closest friends. Think of your family members. The people that are closest to you and that you love the most.

Why do you love them?

Probably, it is because they share common interests, backgrounds, and tastes with you. They enjoy the same movies or music, maybe practice the same religion.

Your closest friends are just like you.

So we must ask the question: do you really enjoy and love the people that are closest to you? Or do you love yourself so much that you love people that mirror you back to yourself?

That was probably confusing.

Anyways, the point is that our friends are pretty good mirrors of ourselves. But if that’s true, what good are our friends?

We could just hang out by ourselves all the time. I’ve got a lot in common with myself.

However, we go to a very large, very diverse university.

We have no reason not to diversify our lives. There are international students here from all over the world.

There are multiple ways to meet these students, including signing up as a conversation partner to help English learners practice the language.

There are international dinners or other programs occasionally, and there was a Ramadan dinner hosted in the student union earlier this year.

If you want to meet international students, they want to meet you.

When I first met Enrique, he had been here from Mexico for almost a month. Yet he told me I was the first American student he had met and spoken with. What kind of welcome is that?

I only mention international students because they are the people that I’ve met that I have the least in common with, at least culturally.But if we want to become friends with people that are different from us, we should befriend those of different religions, political affiliations, and ethnicities.

Christians and atheists should be friends. So should Muslims and Jews. Even Croatians and Serbs should become friends.

When we do this, we’ll begin to appreciate people that are different from us and have different ideas.

We’ll begin to lose some of our prejudices, and accept people for who they are.

We’ll learn to love people, whether they are just like us or not. It may even make arguments over religion or politics less commonplace. The only way to find out is to try.

Just enter into conversations with people with an open mind.

Don’t be turned away if they tell you that they’re voting for McCain.

Forgiveness is important.

You may find out that you have more in common than you thought.