As soon as I completed the book about McDonald’s diversity practices, None of Us Is as Good as All of Us, I was packing for my European vacation. Over the last two weeks, my husband and I visited my friends in Spain.
So, it was just too ironic when we finally arrived (after 3 plan rides, 2 subway lines, and 1 high-speed train) in their hometown of Ciudad Real…to find a McDonald’s in plain view. Instead of being disappointed with the international spread of American commercialism, I took it with stride. I was proud to tell my Spanish friends that McDonald’s is known for its outstanding diversity practices.
Then, I decided to approach my vacation more thoughtfully. I promised that I would try anything and everything my friends offered me. I didn’t care if I was off-schedule or tired. I didn’t worry about becoming nauseus after trying new food. I was determined to become a Spaniard!
I loved it! I loved everything!
AND, I have a greater appreciation for who my friends really are. I met their friends. I spent time with their families. I explored the cities that they experience daily. I ate their food. I learned more about what they enjoy. I understand how they spend their days.
So, I would encourage all nonprofit professionals: before you judge, choose to experience. Before you dismiss, appreciate. You will be amazed at what you learn. You will better understand your clients and your co-workers. You will learn how to appreciate other worldviews.
Please leave a comment with your thoughts! Have you ever been immersed in a completely different culture?