An editorial in the Tufts University (Massachusetts) student paper written by Najiba Akbar and Shai Fuxman points out that, though college students often seek out “like-minded people” during their college years, there are definite drawbacks to isolating one’s self from the rest of the community. They suggest four distinct disadvantages to remaining in homogeneous groupings:
- You are stunting your personal growth.
- You are stunting your professional growth.
- You are stunting the intellectual growth of our nation.
- You are stunting the movement towards the peaceful coexistence of humanity.
Today’s university students have a unique opportunity to discover the diversity and richness of this American people. The skills, understanding, and experiences that will suit them well in their personal lives, professional relationships, civic involvements cannot be taught in textbooks and lectures, but come through personal encounters and are rooted in the willingness to cross the normal borders of sameness to discover what we have to offer to each other.
Akbar and Fuxman are facilitators of Pathways, the Tufts Interfaith Initiative program that provides opportunities for students to explore significant issues of pluralism with fellow students of differing backgrounds and religious traditions.
Such opportunities do not end with graduation, though they can sometimes be harder to find. Still, when we make the effort to meet and understand one another, we discover how those new relationship enable us to grow in all the dimensions of our lives. And ultimately, it provides the firm foundation on which we are able to build to ensure peace and prosperity for those who come after us.
- We need honest dialogue now more than ever
(Tufts Daily, April 26, 2007)
- Pathways: Tufts Interfaith Initiative