At this moment, we as college students stand with an opportunity at our fingertips; the opportunity to expand beyond our static modes of thinking, and expose our minds to the new and different.
Indeed, as we get caught up in our daily routines, we often forget the bigger picture: every lesson we learn, every action we take, ultimately shapes the world that we and our future generations will live in.
If we strive for a world of understanding and unity, then this must start from ourselves. Sure, we hear the word “diversity” often thrown around as something that colleges pride themselves in, but true diversity goes beyond the surface level.
True diversity is not just the mere existence of different ethnicities, religions, and perspectives, but rather, the appreciation and active engagement in what these differences have to offer.
Only when we expose ourselves to different systems of belief, modes of leadership, and other societal fundamentals, will we begin to foster a more dynamic and compassionate humanity.
Such compassion and empathy can only grow from education.
As students, we are by definition, learners; by the privilege of our circumstances, we have the benefit of having access to interdisciplinary courses, professors from a variety of disciplines, and vibrant campus organizations, all by which we can challenge ourselves to new ideas and perspectives.
But most of all, our greatest strength lies in each other.
As a student body, we each have our own set of experiences, skills, and strengths that we can share with our fellow students, and it is through active dialogue and teamwork that we can see the beauty in our differences.
Whether one student may be a proficient photographer, another a skilled orator, or another even a passionate bioethicist, each student brings to the table a unique and invaluable palette of ideas that can ultimately help build a more dynamic and empathetic world.
I stand optimistic and confident that together, we can break free from our static shells of what we think we know, and become resolute in gaining an awareness and appreciation of our differences as a strength in the race to do good deeds.
Our inherent diversity can only bring us good, if after all, it was a Divine decree for us to be “made into nations and tribes, that (we) may know one another” (Qur’an 49:13).
Let’s get to know one another, if not just for ourselves, then for the sake of something Higher.
———————————————————————————Photo by EMAD KAZI