- Posts: 353479
- Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am
I would truly and greatly appreciate any feedback!!!!!!
Thank you very much!!!
I was only mildly surprised when I had heard the news from David, for it had already happened twice since my arrival in Shanghai six months earlier. My bike was stolen again that afternoon while he was using it. To practice benevolence learned from studying Confucian classics, I first refused his compensation offer. His persistent offer, however, led me to rethink this issue. Looking at the matter from his viewpoint, I realized that he was yet another Confucian also wanting to be kind to me. My refusal was, in a sense, disregarding his opinion and goodwill by forcing mine over his, thereby depriving him a chance to become a responsible person. Moreover, my refusal had a possibility of leaving him with a lingering sense of guilt. I had to seek another solution.
From my early days, I have been exposed to many different cultures. Although I am Korean American born in the U.S., I spent much of my youth in Korea. My parents took my brother and me on a backpack trip to Europe and road trips across America and Canada by our old Camry. These experiences always reminded me of the world outside of my comfortable home back in Korea. Recognizing that different cultures and people all have legitimate stories of their own, I always tried to understand different points of view.
One day in college my two friends got into a big dispute. I remained neutral for I had recognized they were both equally culpable. But what surprised me came later. My other friends, unlike myself, actively engaged themselves in the scene by either supporting them or comforting them. And I suddenly found myself standing aloof as a mere observer just analyzing the issue. My neutrality had no materialized effect on the turn of events, and I realized that only understanding different views was not enough. As someone who understands both sides, perhaps I should have had to reconcile them instead of maintaining silence. I recognized/saw my passivity disguised under the name of prudence and neutrality, and I determined then to step out of it.
My initial attempt was to participate in a semester-long program in Washington D.C. I took an internship position at the XXX, and acted as a stage host of the biggest annual Korean cultural festival. Also with my three roommates, each from different ethnic background, we successfully managed to live a communal lifestyle in which in which we shopped, cooked, cleaned, and shared everything together. In this surrounding, I gradually stepped outside of my passivity and gained confidence in speaking up my voice in front of others.
After finishing the program, I continued to challenge myself. I took another internship in D.C., and backpacked over Europe and South America. These experiences not only enabled me to become more active participant of my life, but taught me how to communicate and cooperate with others. Last summer, I joined my Korean church’s mission trip to Europe visiting Christian communities as both an interpreter and a student leader of twenty Korean college students. After visiting the Larche community in England where the assistants sincerely and patiently lowered themselves to cooperate with the people with disability, I came to a realization that I had to find a way to cooperate with my students instead of leading them as I saw fit. At Taize, a Christian community in France with thousands of participants from all over the world, I introduced my group to others, organized soccer matches, and acted as an interpreter in lectures and small group discussions. But I consciously assumed a more passive role and intervened only when necessary to let my students get involved as much as possible. Though sometimes their conversations did not flow so smoothly, I was able to see my students slowly opening up their hearts to interact with other foreigners as days progressed. In this way, I was able to help them help themselves to interact with diverse people and step out of their comfort zones.
Last September, I came to China to study Chinese philosophy to continue the journey of broadening my scope by developing a deeper understanding of others and my Eastern origin. New challenges here humble me every day, but I study how ancient Chinese thinkers formulated their theories to achieve harmonization among different individuals and societies. I learn much from engaging in daily discussions with friends from all over the world, concerning life, politics, and philosophy. I ponder about how I can participate in creating harmony with others in this diverse world. I realize it should start from near, from my daily interaction with others.
My experiences have taught me that a broader scope can be gained by embracing others’ views. It should, however, go on to search for the ground where different people can communicate and cooperate with each other in our diverse society. And that is possible through a thorough understanding of others and a conscious effort to bring different views together. I want to be someone who can mediate that process as an active participant, not an observer. And that is why I want to pursue legal studies. Through two legal internships and many classes in college, I have witnessed how law works as a mediating force to bring together diverse voices in our society. I believe pursuing legal studies will equip me with practical gears to create some small but real social changes.
After much discussion with David, we paid $15 each to get me a used but lovely bike. It made both of us happy.
- Posts: 6987
- Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:16 am
The middle of your essay is especially weak. So, you took roadtrips with your parents and then your friends got in a fight and then you lived 'communally' with people of other cultural descent. It's a jumbly mess. If you pick the bicycle theme (which is also pretty weak), then you need to carry it through a bit better.
Think about the experiences that you're talking about and pick one. Reflect on how it changed you as a person or how it relates to your desire to go to law school.
Scrap and try again. Sorry.
- Posts: 353479
- Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am
I really appreciate it.
I wholeheartedly agree with you that it is very disorganized at the moment, and some contents are very weak.
Any other inputs on how it could be revised? Do I really have to scrap the whole thing?
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