Yeah, I’m biracial. I can tell you stories on how the first two rows of my synagogue were occupied by the Chinese side of my family on the day of my Bat Mitzvah, on how people would ask my mother if she was my baby-sitter when she would take me places as a toddler, on delicate explanations as to why my father can’t eat the shrimp because it violates the concept of kosher.
But if you want to hear them, find me in the halls. See me after this column. Because we spend way too much time squinting at our skin, peering within ourselves, trying to see the different shades of our own depth, or trying on different lenses with which we can notice the different oddities and scars of the people.
Yes, self-reflection plays a role in the exploration of diversity because we are partially defined and completely influenced by our various heritages. And sure, relating to people of our own cultural backgrounds is fun and fascinating, but we’re just watching the boundaries that separate people.
In a world of the internet and hourly flights to places across the globe, the boundaries that once existed are melting away.
Clubs that focus on their own respective races and cultures aren’t really applicable in this quickly amalgamating international climate because they are enforcing boundaries. Sure, these clubs are helpful for further understanding of individual cultures, but perhaps we should explore cross-cultural exchange and revel the accepting atmosphere of a single club dedicated to the celebration of cultural connections and unity across all peoples.
There is an aching world beyond the borders of Marlborough with which we are increasingly coming into contact thanks to the phenomenon of globalization. Case in point: we just had an all-school assembly showing us first-hand photos and relating to us personal accounts of the hardships people endure in Africa, a continent that’s half a world away but is actually becoming closer than it seems.
Our world, which was once divided by entities such as nationality and spheres of influence, is now becoming one massive global community in which ideas, cultures, and people are colliding more than ever before. As rising global citizens, we need to be aware of and embrace this new community.
The world isn’t waiting for us to finish our self-exploration or school-wide connections that Marlborough’s diversity efforts foster before we can connect to the entire globe.
I’m not advocating an all-school field trip to Africa, but increased connection and communication with institutions across the globe such as the Chimosa School, and further integration of global happenings across the school curriculum can help us broaden the mind set with which we consider the community we are a part of.
This community is no longer just Marlborough School or Los Angeles – it is quickly becoming a global community.
We need to embrace it.
– Sarah ’10