Personal Action Plan
In a society or across cultures, social class may refer to the way in which individuals or groups are identified or placed into different strata’s, as noted in Webster’s online dictionary (n.d). In the United States, the strata’s may be identified based on a number of characteristics like, occupation, net worth, wealth, riches, education, power, housing, political class and possessions. However, there are also other basic factors which are used to separate people based on these strata’s and they include, attitude, morals, hygiene and manners. This paper is intended to share what I have observed and learned and use them to develop an action plan which will elaborate on how I use my new found knowledge to improve my perceptions, attitudes and actions as well as to make me a socially conscious person.
I believe am in upper class when I consider possessions which my family owns like vehicle, housing, compound beautification and farms. Also, my college degree, income and the profession confirms my class. On this regard, I chose to observe those whom I am convinced are in lower social class. To better get the real picture of the people in this class, I decided to make good use of a Soup Kitchen downtown where I believe most casual workers would prefer based on its reputation, fame and its cost effectiveness. I took time at the Stomach Clinic Soup Kitchen and I chose to brunch on a solitary table to make my observation not so obvious. Sincerely speaking, Stomach Clinic Soup Kitchen was not in my comfort zone since it is too small and somewhat crowded. Furthermore, I felt more uncomfortable when the meal was presented before me since I am not used to eating meals in crowded places where people keep passing and story loudly as they feast. To make the matter worse, I felt so uncomfortable to see people eat while wearing aprons they use at work, and my mind kept figuring how dirty these cover cloths are considering areas and places where the most consumers in the hotel work.
While at the Stomach Clinic Soup Kitchen, I observed four men wearing a construction company’s uniform attire, and I concluded, probably they work for the same company, and maybe the same department. I noticed that the four were very jovial and pleased by the waiters who attended to them. They laughed together as they shook hands with most of the waiters around. However, the most outstanding thing was that the waiters after greeting them just went ahead to get them trays full of food. These proceeded without waiting for the quartet to make their captain orders. I overheard one of the four men in uniform acknowledge with joy as the waiters placed the trays on the table. The other three, with certainty affirmed that the quantity and quality of the food was good as always. I found it very pleasing that regardless of the crowding in the Soup Kitchen, the waiters know their customers not just by faces but with orders as well. Above all, I observed that they do need to wait for orders from the frequent customers, what a rapport, I thought. I was also taken aback by the excitement exhibited by the customers who prefer the Soup Kitchen. Each and every one of them was there laughing and passing greetings to whoever the hands could meet.
Perceptions and Lessons
My perception of the people in low social class before going into the Soup Kitchen was so disengaged and easily doubted. I had always built in my mind that people in low social class are lousy and hardly find joy in life. However, after observing people in this group keenly, I have realized that I was very wrong and stereotype. I had labeled persons in this group with thoughts like, they can never find happiness in life, and that hardly could they enjoy meals. However, this was so wrong because I have learned that they are so happy, happier than even people in the upper class. I also leant that where you eat does not define the quality of your happiness. Another lesson was that those whom you eat with, the clothes they wear, as well as the people who serve you can not hinder you from enjoying your meal, in fact you can enjoy it more as you chat and laugh together. My perception, after the observation on dressing cod however didn’t change because I still feel that when one is going to have brunch or lunch at soup kitchen it is imperative to dress smart. In fact it may be necessary for an individual to remove the apron, or protective clothes they wear while at work, if they are to enjoy lunch without disturbance of how dirty the dress can be. In addition, my perception, on the crowding in the soup kitchen and shouts while eating has not changed since I still feel that these people need to observe table manners.
Personal Action Plan
As I conclude this paper, what I have identified as my personal action plan is a lifelong goal of appreciating culture diversity and society stratification by continually reminding myself through numerous observations that culture diversity is a very crucial component of daily interactions. As noted by Bucher (2010), there are six traits of diversity consciousness, however following my observation I have decided to focus more on the second aspect of the diversity, expanding our knowledge of the others and their worlds. My observation of the people in lower class in soup kitchen has enabled me to increase my knowledge of the people in this group and with the increased knowledge I am now able to step outside of my comfort zone, the third trait noted by Bucher (2010). Actually, this is the trait that I must improve on, because I don’t think I could have gone to the Soup Kitchen if it were not for this task. However, I have learned that it is very easy to step outside our comfort zones since I went to the soup kitchen and I comfortably enjoyed my brunch.
Bucher, R.D. 2010. Diversity consciousness: opening our minds to people, cultures, and opportunities. 3rd. University of Phoenix, United Kingdom.