"You cannot cogitate your way to sympathy with people of different backgrounds, still less to knowledge of them. You need to interact with them directly, and it has to be on an equal footing: not in the context of service, and not in the spirit of making an effort, eitherswooping down on a member of the college support staff and offering to buy them a coffee, as a former Yalie once suggested, in order to ask them about themselves.

Instead of service, how about service work? Thatll really give you insight into other people. How about waiting tables so that you can see how hard it is, physically and mentally?"

I did this.

Based on my experience, service work doesn't really give you an insight into other people, at least when you do it at age 18 or 19.