Let's continue to grow in cultural intelligence for peace-making, promoting justice, practicing humility, and pursuing truth.

The Cultural Intelligence Task Force was initiated a couple of years ago to understand the dynamics of our culturally rich community.

Through focus groups and surveys, the team continues its efforts to define cultural intelligence within our context by gathering insights from students, staff, parents, and alumni. The overarching vision of this team is for the Dalat community to continue to grow in cultural intelligence for peace-making, promoting justice, practicing humility, and pursuing truth.

Being part of this task force, I’ve had the opportunity to explore various books, attend presentations, and collaborate with other schools sharing similar pursuits. At a recent conference, Charles Vogl, author of The Art of Community, emphasized the importance of understanding community in addressing the loneliness crisis among young adults. He highlighted the fundamental need for individuals to belong and connect with others. This is through striving to provide members with opportunities to feel a sense of belonging and encouraging each member to contribute positively to others or a collective cause.

Understanding the members of our community (cultural intelligence) plays a crucial role in fostering this sense of belonging.

As a reader of this article, you are an integral part of the Dalat community, which comprises over 400 families from around the globe, each bringing unique cultures, perspectives, and life experiences to our campus. This rich diversity distinguishes Dalat and makes it an exceptional place to study and work. In fostering a sense of community, each of us has a role to play.

As Vogl ended his presentation, he emphasized a simple yet profoundly impactful action: extending an invitation. Extending an invitation, whether inviting someone to join a conversation, share a cup of coffee, have dinner together at the stalls, or arrange a playdate for the kids, holds remarkable power in fostering a sense of belonging. It doesn’t matter what the invitation is for, but just the act of inviting signifies a genuine desire to connect and understand one another more deeply.

By reaching out and inviting others into our lives, we not only build connections but also cultivate a stronger sense of community where everyone feels valued and included. Here in Malaysia, there is a Malay word you might have seen on billboards and posters: “jom”. The word functions in the same way as “let’s” in English. It is a word that is used to invite other people to do something together (“Jom, let’s go for coffee”).

Let’s all extend a “jom” to someone today.

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