As the saying goes, "One man's meat is another man's poison". I terrifically love autumn although the one we are now walking into has not made up its mind yet. In the past week, I still dressed lightly to enjoy the gentle breeze and occasional sunlight, and was not sick of the temperature amplitude. Despite my slender attire, I have never judged my friends who wear chunky clothes to be "weak". Likewise, I am sure they will not see me "weird". Such interrelation is based on respect and empathy - we respect differences and have the ability to understand others with empathy.
Like many universities, CUHK is comprised of students of differences in terms of nationality, culture, learning capability, political orientation, gender identity and household status, etc. Units including the I·CARE Centre for Whole-person Development have strived to facilitate integration among students with diverse background and traits. Not only are we aiming to build a harmonious campus, but we also believe that variety is the spice of student life.
To achieve integration in the CUHK community, a lot of efforts are required. Monetary investment (in employing particular personnel, setting up necessary facilities and holding immersion activities, etc.) certainly helps, but the key success factor lies in the mindset of us. If we respect differences from the bottom of our heart and usually exercise empathy, the creation of a pluralistic and inclusive campus will be visible. The effective way to adjust our mindset is the broadening of awareness and exposure. Reach out to multiple settings and people, then you will discover differences are mainly evolved from a set of constant elements (race, religion, intelligence quotient, etc.). You will start accepting the disparities instead of rejecting them.
Autumn is about to wave goodbye to us, and winter will be round the corner. Don't leave out your fleece jackets and wool scarves at home. Keep warm and have a great time!
I·CARE Centre for Whole-person Development