Copyright 2013 by Murray Kibblewhite
“I come from a less-developed coal-mining town in Korea.” Min looked up, a wistful smile appearing on her face as she let her mind go back.
“You have come a long way in nineteen years,” Michael her Business teacher commented as they finished clearing papers after the presentation.
“I lived in an old house and it had an outdated coal-fire boiler and a toilet that sometimes crawled with maggots!” She continued in a dream world from her past. Then her smile spread across her face, “but now, such a poor conditions have generally known to have disappeared in most of Korea – a long time ago.”
“Your country has developed rapidly in the last twenty to thirty years.” He concurred, neither correcting her English nor wishing to stop her flow of thinking.
“Yes,” Min continued, “but these are only some of examples that I experienced personally” She paused, thinking and then carefully explaining, she said, “however, my home helped me to understand and have empathy for the poor.”
“Congratulations”, Michael smiled and touched her shoulder saying, “You‘re a lucky person. You know the reason for being here in New Zealand!”
Min starred at her Teacher taking in his words, “so you are saying it was the difficult condition I had to live with that positively motivated and inspired me to realize an interest in needy people?”
Working and researching overseas would be exciting and wonderful, Min thought to herself. She could go to places she had always dreamed of like Jordan, Israel and Japan.
Min mused and then shuddered with excitement, the thought ofthe experience of building new relationships and coming across new cultures. It would be fantastic. It would allow her to definitely feel the atmosphere and how people behave differently from the way they did in Korea.
Letting her thoughts expand, serving overseas will be a great opportunity for exchanging cultures and broadening my horizon as well as promoting international understanding.
And as she let her imagination run freely a broad smile came to her face, Every time, I will adaptmyself to each new culture and I will learn to accept human diversity by meeting so many different people!
“What other experiences have you had?” Michael inquired as they worked together disassembling the screen used in her presentation.
“Well,” Min replied, “Handong Global University has played a key role in helping me to acquire the energy and the knowledge to serve people in need. I consolidated my visionand skills through double majoring in social welfare and counseling psychology!”
“So you built on your interest by selecting psychological classes – good idea!” Michael commented.
“Yes, through the psychological classes I learned to discover my own psychological traits and became more sensitively aware of the psyche of people I meet”. Min paused recollecting her experiences, “and I also did volunteer work as part of my university life and that’s how my adventures began. I served the neighboring community by teaching English to small groups of children in churches and community children centers that were nearby.”
“Very good. And what else?”He asked.
“I also helped the elderly and disabled people by participating in programs and exercise activities in settlement houses and welfare centers”. Min stopped her work as she recalled the past events. “It was from these experiences I learned how to use my talents and skills in dealing with people. to serve other people, especially those who are isolated from society. I wanted to help build a sense of belonging, and address how to deal with poverty!
“And how did you know what to do?”Michael probed, “was it always from your skills?”
“Don’t laugh because I know you are not a religious person.” Min paused, then quietly but firmly stated, “I always pray and ask for guidance before I make any major personal decision! “
Research and volunteer trips to foreign countries would be the best way to have adventures and build