I had the wonderful opportunity of having dinner with McKenzie, my friend Lindsey, and McKenzie’s adorable pup, Little Britches. As a table of three college-age women, we didn’t see much diversity at first. However, we found we were all raised very differently and are all majoring in very different fields.
Lindsey, who recently turned nineteen, was raised in a small town in central Kentucky that she jokes is “population more cows than people.” She is the youngest of two with an older brother. Her parents were very conservative when she was a child so she wasn’t exposed to much in the world of rap music, video games, TV, or other common things for most children. She was raised very Christian and still holds her faith very close to her heart. Her faith drives many of her decisions and is where most of her morals stem from.
McKenzie, on the other hand, is a 22-year-old college senior who will be graduating in just a few short weeks. She raised in a suburb just outside of Louisville. She is the oldest of five which she believes played a huge role in her upbringing. She has a huge heart for others and always puts them before herself. Although she’s not Catholic, she says people often mistake her family for being a Catholic family because of their good morals and high standards. She says her mom was very strict, with her being the oldest, and instilled in her a perfectionist complex.
Finally, I was raised in Northern Kentucky right outside of Cincinnati, Ohio. My family always stressed the importance of academics and I was taught that I can and should excel at everything I do. I was brought up in a Christian household and went to a Catholic school until I was eight. Church was always a huge part of my life growing up but, now that I’m older, my family has drifted away from our church. I can tell you the last time I attended service there was Easter of my eighth grade year; however, my faith in God still remains. My family has always been big on community service and my drive to give back and my Christian values are the main contributors to my own personal morals.
We started our dinner with some light conversation about our majors, Little Britches, and how excited we were forMcKenzie’s macaroni and cheese and my double chocolate brownies.McKenzie and I discovered we were both in the psychology field. She is headed toward a degree in developmental while I’m on a behavioral and neuroscience track. Lindsey, on the other hand, is a graphic design major and fashion merchandising minor. Little Britches is graduating with a degree in face-licking and dog modeling. We joked about the “conversation starters” and kept the required “what does citizenship mean to you?” at the back of our minds.
We all agreed that one of the great things about our world today is how connected we all are. Often times, social media is painted in a bad light but it keeps us in touch with what is going on all over the world. Lindsey said it best stating, “our world is much smaller than it used to be now that we all have Twitters and Instagrams.” We also decided the availability of instant mac and cheese makes the world go ’round.
We all wanted to avoid political discussions as much as possible seeing as none of us consider ourselves very politically informed. However,McKenzie had some good advice for future presidents saying she’d rather they be “genuinely for the people” rather than put on a good face just for votes and, most importantly, be a huge dog lover.
After a brief break in conversation used to follow Little Britches’ Instagram page (which is @instabritches if you’re interested), we finally made our way back to the important question. “What does citizenship mean to you?” Lindsey believes doing community service and giving back to the community to make it a better place to live is a very important factor of citizenship. Likewise,McKenzie believes a good citizen is one who looks out for their fellows and helps those who can’t help themselves. She wants to be a good “steward of the earth” and keep it green. One of her biggest dreams is to one day own a sanctuary for older dogs whom no one wants to care for. She, of course, would call it In the Name of Britches after her very best friend. Mackenzie also wants to give back to the community through her field of study. Her dream is to help children with mental disabilities and to tailor schooling to their needs as they’re often pushed to the wayside.
McKenzie’s want to be “green” reminded me of Pollan’s Why Bother and Jensen’s Forget Shorter Showers. Unlike the views in these articles, both Mackenzie and I believe that, despite how small our efforts are, we could still make an impact on the state of our environment. Our discussion of citizenship was also pretty similar to the class’s general definition. There were parallels in the sense of giving back and working to make the world a better place.
I had a wonderful experience having dinner with Lindsey,McKenzie, and Little Britches. learned a lot about how people with different perspectives view our society today and I’m happy to say I made two new friends. I can’t wait to stay updated with Little Britches via Instagram and hope to see him trotting around campus in his unicorn costume very soon!