We often like to think of the world in black and white. Good and bad. Right and wrong. When talking about the future, we tend to assume that it will be clear to make a distinction between the two and we tend to ignore the grey zones.
This weekend my school hosted a MUN (Model United Nations) Conference and I believe that one thing that we have all learned is that it is not always that easy to say what is right and what is wrong. What is wrong in the eyes of one person might be completely ok in the eyes of someone else. MUN is about finding a diplomatic compromise and this compromise is often found in the grey zones.
My school hosted five different committees this weekend, including the African Union which is the committee I was allocated to. My committee discussed the issue of combatting illegal ivory trade and our discussions were heated, well-researched and constructive. Every delegate tries to push for his country's views of right and wrong, for its definition of black and white. And when the delegates all come together to write a resolution, grey enters the game.
One thing I love about MUN is that it teaches you the art of compromising without giving up too much. It teaches you to give in when needed and to stand firm in other situations. It teaches you to go with the flow and stand like the rock and how to decide when to do which of the two. As a delegate, you know your country's stances in and out and you know exactly what you have to stress and so you work on it. MUN teaches you to focus and to try to achieve your goals through cooperation. I really love doing MUN and although it is very demanding and not always easy, it is inspiring and makes you understand the challenges the UN faces and why it is not always that easy to find a universal solution.
You also learn so much more about the world by representing countries you did not know anything about before. The topics of the committees usually focus on things you would normally not know every country's stances on and so you learn something completely new about a country.
I also believe that it gives you the opportunity to practice public speaking and to gain more confidence. Throughout our two-day conference, many delegates improved and started to contribute more and more to the debate. It can still be funny even if you are shy - you just have to challenge yourself every once in a while. Personally, I always get a little nervous when talking in front of people but I also like a good challenge so I tried.
When doing MUN, you learn to appreciate the grey zones because it is where the different definitions of black and white mix. If you guys ever get the chance to join a MUN Conference, I would highly encourage you to take the opportunity!
Lots of Love,
The picture was taken by my amazing coyear 李彦均