Document Type

Thesis

Publication Date

Spring 2017

Advisor

Charles W. Wright, Philosophy

Abstract

"Sic luceat lux vestra," or “Let your light Shine” This phrase from the Gospel of Mattew stresses the importance that we all have a light or a talent and we should shine our light for all. The problem though is when we live in the same community for so long, we start to lose our uniqueness and eventually become close-minded to new experiences. By encountering and learning from other communities, we are made aware of this issue and other strengths and weakness of our own community that we take for granted. My disclaimer about this paper is that it is not a typical scholarly paper. This paper is filled with an accumulation of my observations and encounters living in different communities: my college experience, living in the Japanese community through my study abroad program, and my experience in the martial arts community. I will draw upon these experiences as well as use other scholars to provide insights into my experiences. The goal of this paper is to demonstrate that communities are formed due to the unique individuals that are a part of the community, rather, than the standards we label individuals and to achieve this, it requires an openness to everyone’s differences. I will support this thesis by evaluating: the relationship between leaders and the community, suffering’s role in a community, listening as a tool to recognize and overcome our differences and that an inclusive community begins with the acceptance of our unique selves.

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