CULTURE:

Consumption and Production

I looked at him and decided to ask a different question. He had been in my office several times already for a few different reasons, but mostly being an affluent teenage boy in a foreign school that had more freedom then he knew what do with. I had warned him, been mad at him, given him many breakfast clubs but he continued his destructive pattern.

“What are you going to give to us here at LC?” Because we are talking not in his first language, his confusion was predictable. “We have a great school, a great homestay, opportunity for sports and arts, what are you doing for us?” He looked down and shook his head. “Nothing, I give nothing. I only take.”

It is our culture to produce consumers. We are set up in our schools, our churches our homes to consume. What if we changed our paradigm, our culture and asked our student’s international and domestic…what are you bringing to the table? What are you producing and creating? How are you making this a better school and community?

When affluent international students just continue to consume they will never see themselves as necessary. If our students produce and create, however, and that is our expectation they become a part of our school’s culture even if they never fully understand the American culture. If they give of themselves then they belong.

He tried to give back to our community. He joined the soccer team but never really invested. He eventually decided that to consume was easier…he left our school early and sadly never made a difference in who we are as a school nor who we are as a community.