Student Reflections – Kevin Born

As our trip comes to an end, looking back it flew by and I can’t believe it’s over. There was so much to do and such little time to do it. It was surprisingly educational. Concerning cultural information, we did an incredible walking tour of the Rocks which really gave me an appreciation for where we were staying and the historical significance of everything around me. The tour guide was also a stitch and really cool in general. The museums were also very worth while. I did like how Sydney, as the location where the country was first founded by whites, continually made mention of the aboriginal people who were native to the continent. They put the aboriginal people and their culture on at least a level playing field with the First Fleet and the English settlers and often gave credit to (in a surprisingly proud manner) the 60,000 years of culture the aborigines had prior to English Conquest. (their culture is the longest continuous culture in the world by far). Throughout our trip I reflected on America’s history and marveled at how similar it is to Australia’s and yet how little we acknowledge the Natives Americans and our mistreatment of them (Trail of Tears, forcing them onto reservations, assimilation programs bordering on kidnap, and all the wars and killings from the first settlers through the Wild West). As a further comparison, Australians readily acknowledge and are proud of their convict roots. The country was built on the backs of petty criminals expelled from England for terms of 7, 14, or life sentences (although, because of the cost of the return trip, any sentence essentially amounted to a life term). We had a small discussion about how few dark skinned people resided in Sydney. The US has a lot of African Americans (whose original culture survived in some ways through food and music) primarily because they were brought as slaves to build our country. Australia had no need for this because they had convict labor. Again, this goes to show how globalization is not a new phenomenon but has been taking place for centuries through the spice trade from the Far East to Rome and Europe, the colonialization of the new world and the slave trade and eventually full blown colonization of Africa. I think this shows how interdependent and global our economies have been for so long. The only difference is that now travel and information transfer over great distance is much easier to accomplish. This is why learning about globalization is so important, both for our business lives, but also to get a sense of the shared human experience across the world. We all belong to the human race and we’re all equal. We have been shaping and touching each other’s lives for well over a thousand years; spreading and blending our peoples, cultures and religions. With this in mind I think this trip has taught me a lot about the need to acknowledge our dark pasts and to make up for them through charity and more importantly though tolerance of different peoples’ ways of life. Only then will we be able to right the wrongs of the past, grow humanity as a whole, and be successful in our lives, economically and spiritually.

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