Others Before Self

By Samyak Moktan

As I sit and think back on my recent trip to Chengdu, I can’t help reflect on how important it is to learn to coexist. As human beings, we may come from different parts of the world, look different and speak differently. However, even with all of the differences, what makes us similar is our values. One thing that stood out to me pphoto.jpgarticularly on this trip was the people of Chengdu and their hospitality. Their outlook on life as collectivist and not as individualist was very refreshing for me, as it hits very close to the type of values I grew up with. Studying in the United States and learning how to live independently somehow was pushing me towards the spectrum of thinking more individualistically. My experience in China helped me level down to my roots. Every person once in a while needs to realize that not everything is always about them. If we wish to coexist then we must pay attention to others interest and wishes.

During our immersion program, we also had the opportunity to meet many university students whom we learned had studied incredibly hard all their lives. Some of the students had aspirations of coming to the United States to pursue their further studies. I couldn’t help empathizing with them. As these students reminded me of myself and my aspirations. While talking to them, it made me realize how lucky I have been with all the opportunities I have had in my life so far. Thus, my recent experience in Chengdu was truly a humbling one and like all my other adventures, this one also has left an indelible mark in my heart.

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