Do I contribute to creating a trusting community that fosters the intellectual, physical, emotional, and spiritual good of everyone?
One of the main reasons I chose to come to Earlham was the school’s emphasis on its principles and practices. The practice that means the most to me is respect for persons. This is such a big point for me because I wanted to go to a school where my thoughts were respected not only in the classroom, but in the discussion of other topics that might otherwise be considered too sensitive to discuss. Because I enjoy this liberty given to me by others, I return this same courtesy to others. Anytime I might disagree with someone initially about a certain topic, try to listen to what they are saying in order to understand rather than listen to formulate a response in an attempt to invalidate their position. Another aspect of the Earlham community that I appreciate is the commitment to the physical health of the students. The Athletic and Wellness Center is a great place to meet new people and exercise with friends. It is unlike most fitness places in that the people working out are not all “in shape”. However, everyone there understands that each person working out is striving toward a personal goal and respects each other. Every time I go to the AWC people are always smiling and asking about my day, which makes me want to be there more. I attempt to recreate this welcoming environment each time I pass a stranger in the AWC. Emotional health is one of the major crises our world faces today. One attempt that I make to check-in on friends or people I don’t know is the passing hello. I learned this from Hagi during his speech during NSO week. Previously, I had never considered how much a hello could mean to someone, but Hagi enlightened me that saying hello tells another person that you recognize that they exist and that you value them enough as a person to speak to them. Also, he discussed how a person could be having a terrible day but talking to them for a minute or two could change their day. The last facet of respect for persons is spiritual good. Because of Earlham’s great diversity in nationality it also creates a great diversity in religion. I am currently taking a religion class and it is probably my favorite class I take. I like it because it is a discussion based class about dietary laws in various religions. Everyone in the class shares their views on the reading each day, but the conversation usually develops into more than a scholarly review of an article. The discussion typically morphs into a comparison of similarities and differences in different students’ religions. Here I have learned there is no right or wrong way for a person to their spirituality and have become more knowledgeable in religions and traditions which I had only previously encountered in a textbook.