In lieu of the field trip to the Valentine Museum, I attended the “Inclusive Excellence” lecture on campus. The overarching idea that we discussed that stuck with me when leaving the lecture was “What is it like to be me? And, what is it like to be you?” There were many different groups on campus that attended which made the main idea of the speech inspiring and relevant. Multiple times throughout the two hour speech, the speaker asked the crowd to turn to people around them that they did not know and ask, “What is it like to be you?” In the crowd there were people of all ages, races, gender, etc and when looking around I quickly realized that I had no idea what it is like to be any of those people but me. This is what the speaker was trying to get across. He urged the crowd to realize that even when we think we know someone or know what being them is like, we never truly know what other people are going through. Everyone is unique and carrys a one of a kind story that no one else can fully grasp. The lecture became especially intimate when the speaker asked people to share their story or something that they are going through that not many other people know about. Numerous students shared things about themselves that I couldn’t believe. I left feeling connected to my peers and encouraged to always think twice before I assume that I know everything about someone.
This message, “What is it like to be me?” from the lecture relates to our class in a big way. Thus far in the course we have talked extensively about how different every day life can be depending on your race such as discrepancies in opportunity, equal treatment and much more. The social constructions that have been formed around the color of our skin has made it hard to genuinely understand what it is like to be someone else whether it is an individual of the same, or a different race. Listening to the lecture and reflecting on our class discussions, it is clear to me that I only know what it is like to be me. I appreciate the videos we watch, and the discussions we have in class because I believe that with knowledge comes understanding, and I hope to keep learning more about the history and current status of racial gaps in our country in order to better understand. Again, I know that I only am capable of knowing what it is like to be me, but I hope to keep learning what it is like to be others in our country.