An Interesting Choice of Guest Speakers

On February 11, my MGMT 319 class was privileged to have Bernedette Muthien come and speak with us about her experiences in Africa. Before coming to class, I quickly read her CV and was extremely impressed by her incredible life accomplishments. I can honestly say that I have never, in my life, seen a longer CV before. When she showed up, she immediately greeted the class and began explaining to us how the two most important life principles are justice and compassion. The ability to blend these two concepts together when solving problems is crucial to the harmony of humanity. While her talk about the significance of justice and compassion greatly interested me, she began to venture off into some “questionable” areas of conversation. I do not really know how she came to begin speaking of this topic, but at one point, she began discussing her view on vaginoplasty. This, she later linked to her displeasure in society placing higher values on “fake beauty” instead of “natural beauty.” While I agree that it is unfortunate our society places such high value on plastic surgery, I do not believe she should have gone on such a tangent as a university’s guest speaker.

Students attempted to “reel her back in,” however, it seemed as though she was more interested in comparing our problems with Africa’s than educating us about her cause and how it is currently aiding the various governmental issues Africa is facing. I really wanted this talk to be highly educational and broaden my views of Africa’s current political and societal restructuring. While I may seem to take a negative view of her as a guest speaker, I do greatly appreciate her ideas about the interrelation of justice and compassion in today’s society. I was also greatly influenced by her discussion of humanity’s roots. She stated that humanity is rooted in the collective humanity, therefore, one can never truly view themselves as an individual entity. They must view themselves as a cog in the system. Hopefully, I can influence others to understand and adopt this concept throughout my lifetime. I think that modern global society has a far way to go in terms of reaching a sustainable equilibrium; however, society is already beginning to take accountability for their actions. This will eventually lead to a unified global society.


5 thoughts on “An Interesting Choice of Guest Speakers

  1. I am surprised that Muthien strayed so far in her topic of conversation as well. It seems as though she ventured into a subject that was not her main point. While it is perfectly okay that she chose what she wanted to talk about, it is disappointing that you did not come away from the presentation with what you were expecting. Perhaps she addressed some of the things that you are interested in at her presentation she gave to the University.

  2. I did not have a chance to attend the lecture so I am not really familiar with her speaking’s topics. However, it is really interesting that a speaker would risk the chance for something she really want to talk about. I bet that the department did not expect the topic of “vaginoplasty” as well. Just like stock trading, risk usually come with more potential profits. This actually reminds of Mr Daisey’s partially fabricated story of Shenzhen. When he decided to fake some stories, there must be some incentives as well.

  3. You are free to criticize the speaker, of course.

    Did you discuss her meandering in your other class?

    A kind of standard feminist perspective is that the personal and the political are linked. So, politics of health care, of day care, ARE personal matters. THis dissolving of public-private differences may be one way she segued from justice to beauty.

  4. I think harmony is a good idea too. You mention a “unified” global society. Unified in what way? I mean, Stalin and Mao were good at “unifying” their countries, but I doubt you are advocating such means!

    How do we get to greater harmony without more justice? And when people face win-loose situations, it is that much harder to see harmony and justice….

    Big questions.

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