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Self Development Plan - Assignment Example

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Self-Awareness and Cross-Culture Self-awareness is the first step towards self-development. Only when we become conscious of who we are, do we realize where we want to go. My journey from Saudi Arabia to Canada has not merely been a journey covering a long distance; it has been a journey towards self-development…
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Self Development Plan
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Download file to see previous pages Before this, I did not need to think or consider because I met people from the same religious background since birth. Of course, people did come from varied cultures even in Madinah, the city in Saudi Arabia that I hail from, but having the same religious background, we had something in common. Interacting with them was never an issue. I did realize the difference when I arrived in Toronto. I come from a decent family and hence the luxury of Canada was not a shock. I had been exposed to comforts and convenience and hence adjusting to Canadian lifestyle was not a problem. Being an Arabic Muslim male in mid-twenties, leaving home was exciting because little did I know what I would encounter. With a desire to be at par with people in the western world, with a desire to compete for jobs at an equal level, I decided to undertake Masters Studies in Canada. I did realize that one has to come out of the shell, one has to explore the world to equip oneself and to gain competency. This gave me the courage to leave the comfort zone and arrive in Canada. I lived in Toronto for 18 months before enrolling for Masters and moving on to Saint John City, New Brunswick. I soon realized that it is not enough to have academic competency; one also requires cross-cultural competency. I guess this thought came to my mind because I identify myself as a Muslim and not as another human being coming from a different background. I became conscious of my culture when I encountered people from an entirely background. Canada and Saudi Arabia differ vastly in their cultural background. I did face problems in the beginning simply because the exposure back home was limited. However, since there were a few people from my region already domiciled in Canada, I received some guidance from them and learnt the rest as I lived. Fortunately I did not avoid cultural difference; I accepted its importance, which according to Bennett (2004) is ethnorelativism. My exposure to diverse cultures helped me accept an entirely different culture with ease. I also realized that the cultural values norms and beliefs that I had unconsciously imbibed were relevant to that region. Here I would need to adapt to different cultural nuances. This implies that acceptance has set it as one recognizes that one’s own culture is one of the different cultures prevailing in the world. In fact I found that Canadians too, were receptive and accepted Islamic culture as they had been exposed to many from the Arabic countries. Toronto was a multicultural city and I encountered people from diverse cultures such as China, India and Africa. I used to be taken aback at the way children, once they finished education, moved out their parents’ house. I obviously was trying to compare with the situation back home. At the same time I was stared at, and none ventured to stretch their hand in friendship. Gradually, I smiled and they smiled back. I was relieved to some extent and it also gave me the feeling that with time, things would be different. As acceptance set in, tolerance also crept in. Knowledge of other Cultures I realized that exploring your own cultural identity can be the hardest thing to do. Our own culture is so deeply ingrained in us but unless we understand our own rules and norms we shall not understand other cultures. I was quick to adapt to a new culture because prior to arriving in Canada I had done some reading on this culture which helped me develop a positive attitude towards it although I lacked ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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