During my first week of Master of Law and Business studies in Germany, our class was told that if we start our answers in the exam with “It depends”, we would be on the right track.
We were reminded that our answers will always depend on unique situational circumstances and facts. And that various perspectives should be considered in concluding an answer.
The 2016 Masters class consisted of 52 students from 29 different countries. We were a truly diverse group. Our diversity stretched from vegetarians to those who didn’t consider ‘dog’ on a menu as unusual. Some of us were lawyers while others came from a business background. Yet there was mutual respect. We didn’t criticise each other’s habits or beliefs.
Not only did we get along, but we became best friends. We were like family. We trusted each other. Today we remain close and continue to love each other with all our differences.
Now whenever I reminisce about those days, I’m amazed at how people with such different characters and backgrounds were able to get along so easily. What made it possible?
Firstly, we shared a healthy sense of humour that helped us see the lighter side of our differences and talk openly about them. Our curiosity and desire to understand different perspectives and viewpoints also played a big role along with the safe space and policies the school created for us.
I promised myself, even before I got accepted into the school, that I would like to make use of this opportunity to bring home and share the knowledge and insights I gain in Germany. My aim with Creative Diligence is to create awareness of how curiosity can help us understand different perspectives in order to collectively find creative solutions to problems.
By better understanding ourselves and others, we can create peaceful communities in which all members can enjoy a higher state of well-being. This skill enables us to better regulate our behaviour, ensuring that we benefit each other, rather than harm each other.