Lessons from Mi Segunda Familia
I have had the privilege and honor to work and learn from the Hispanic community for some time now, especially over the past few years. As diversity month comes to a close, I wanted to share a few of the lessons that I have learned from the many Peruvians, Colombians, Guatemalans, Chileans, Spaniards and more, that I have been blessed to work with.
Lesson #1: Never Give Up
I have always worked hard to achieve my goals. Ever since I was a little child, my parents told me to never give up. From my interactions with the Hispanic community, I have a completely different perspective now of what it means to keep going, despite all the many challenges that may get in the way.
I met Angel Rodríguez from Perú last October at the closing session of the 2013 Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) National Conference in Philadelphia, PA. I started talking to him and quickly realized that he hadn't heard about the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). I encouraged him to go back to Peru and start a Chapter there. We said our goodbyes and kept in touch every once and a while over Facebook and Whatsapp.
A few months ago, Angel told me that they were in the process of becoming a Chapter. I was so excited! I said I would be there for them every step of the way. Despite the difficulties of securing a sponsor Chapter and getting all the paperwork filled out, the Universidad de San Martin de Porres' PRSSA Chapter officially got chartered. They currently have 33 members, 10 of which were able to attend the 2014 PRSSA National Conference in Washington D.C.
Their perseverance is truly inspiring, especially to tackle on this feat in a language that is not their own. Next time we have a problem come up at work, school, or in our personal lives, let's be sure to put it into perspective and think about how it may not be as hard as we are making it out to be.
Lesson #2: How To Be Grateful
Some of the most humble, grateful people that I have met are Hispanic. After all of their hard work, they are quick to say "Gracias" and recognize everyone who helped out. One of my favorite quotes from President Harry S. Truman comes to mind,
It is my goal to live a more grateful life and be better at recognizing all the help that I receive from others.
Lesson #3: How To Create Mutually Beneficial Relationships
Latino/as truly understand how to develop meaningful, professional relationships. After all, public relations is about just that, creating relationships. The Hispanic community is so quick to set aside any differences and treat you like you are one of the family. I now try my best to get rid of any prejudices that I might have and really get to know a person before I judge them.
Yo quiero a todos mis amigos/as hispanohablantes y estoy tan agradecido por la oportunidad por haberles conocido. [Translation: I love all of my Spanish speaking friends and am so grateful for the opportunity that I have had to meet them.]
I love interacting with other cultures. It allows me to open my mind and explore possibilities that I wouldn't have ever imagined on my own.
What experiences have you had with diversity? What has it taught you? Comment below.