Thursday, July 30, 2009

Saving face, a Hillsider board member learns value in China

Hillsider board member Carolyn Dillman is a public health nurse at St. Luke’s Regional Breast Center and is a student in the College of St. Scholastica’s MBA program. Recently she returned from a class trip to China.

Photo by Sheryl Homan

By Carolyn Dillman

The MBA (masters of business administration) is a relatively new program offered at the College of St. Scholastica and this was the first opportunity to study abroad. This fulfilled not only a class requirement but served as a venue to expand our learning experience with a foreign business. Our two week trip took us from Hong Kong, to Zhuhai with a quick stop in Macau.

The scenery was breathtaking, the hospitality was incredible, and the experience was priceless. While I am not a big fan of frog or eel, I welcomed the experience with an open mind and stomach. The biggest lesson learned from this adventure was “saving face”. Saving face is an insightful Chinese value which conveys the understanding of not being disrespectful to others in public or maintaining our appearance not to “lose face” in the eyes of others. Respect of others and respect to self; a very important value we could all practice in our daily interactions. The next time you’re downtown and you see an elderly person needing assistance; instead of laughing try helping. The next time someone confronts you and tries to start a fight, respect yourself enough not to engage with the other person. Let’s see if Duluth can “save face” one person, or face, at a time.