Developing a Sense of Diversity Consciousness Diversity consciousness is an important quality that every person living in the 21st century must develop. According to Bucher (2010), diversity consciousness is at the center of three areas: understanding diversity, diversity awareness and diversity skills…
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The interviewee was Beverly, a 39-year-old Filipino who is currently working as a grade school teacher. I have known her through a friend but although we have been acquainted for a while, I never had a real conversation with her. To comply with the school requirement, I personally asked if I could have the interview with her and she replied with enthusiasm. As a mother of three, Beverly shares with me the same experience of working and taking care of kids at the same time. As a teacher, she seemed to have what I lacked, the patience to listen even to the most trivial things children could utter. Beverly has a different family orientation. Being Filipino, she lived in a closely-knit family, with her grandparents sharing their home, and her aunts and uncles living close by in their neighborhood. Although I grew up with my mother and grandmother, I did not experience the family traditions that she had. Likewise, the distant relationship I had with my father marks the distinction between us. Needless to say, Beverly grew up in a complete and happy family while I, in a dismal one. As a teacher, Beverly’s job entails listening to children, making them feel important, and most of all, exercising patience to accommodate their needs. According to her, it is inevitable to listening and be sensitive to the behavior of children in order to show them they are important and loved. She sees herself as a second mother to her students, never letting a day pass without giving a good remark to each student for even the small things they do. She said that if a teacher gives respect and love to her students, she will receive the same, thus if she shows interest in their stories, they too will listen to her. In contrast, I have difficulty giving my full attention to anyone I am speaking with. When I was younger, my friends told me that I talked too fast and turned my head away whenever I talked. I did not take this seriously until one day I observed my daughter doing the same. I realized it was wrong because it could make the other person feel you are not interested. Such gesture could lead to a barrier because the other person will not feel welcome to further express thoughts. I realized this only recently when I consciously observed myself talking with a fellow Navy Chief. I was at my desk, doing something in the computer while she tried to get my attention with her personal issues. I forced myself to look at her direction but noticed that I shifted attention to my monitor and lost interest in listening after a minute. My tendency to do selective listening possibly affects the way people deal with me. Nowadays, I refrain from calling up my children because whenever I did, they would usually ask for money. They will not confide with me without asking for money. I do not blame them for this because of the difficulties they have to live with but I always waited for that time when all they would do is to ask for my advice and moral support. Realizing how bad I pay attention when communicating with others, I think I need to be a good listener in order for them to communicate with me on a more personal level. One thing I noticed about Beverly was that she listened with interest, always looked in my eyes and even leaned forward when she could not hear what I said. She was too engaged with the conversation and reacted to everything I said. When it was my turn to listen, I listened very hard to her and thought that it was not
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