Cultural Differences

Cultural Differences?

We are all culturally designed by the initial foundation of our existence in accordance with our environment. Our parent’s circumstances determine our environment and their environment, which we did not choose and, to an extent, was probably selected by someone else other than them, perhaps their parents. Even if they decided to change their environment or circumstances, they decided, we may have just influenced their decision but were born into it.

Where we are born has just as much influence on us as who we were born to. Yet, this environmental influence has an inverted effect. As we get older, the influence of our environment expands to adjust to changes while the parental influence declines. Of course, parental influence remains strong because it is part of our experience and our experiences shape our perspectives, but still, it decreases in a substantially active manner over time.

The status and cultural vindication among our self-identifying group or the norms of our geographical location is the measurement by which we primarily evaluate ourselves. However, others also probably assess us as a collective standard of that place and time. Thus, we endeavor to assimilate to our environment and subgroup that we aspire to become a part of or have found ourselves to belong.

If we are not choosing, then someone has chosen for us, and often our environment has made the choice. Our subgroup has many different levels, developed preferences, and motivations that constantly change with time. What is permitted, tolerated, encouraged, or prohibited changes regularly which require our constant adaptation? As the circumstances change, we must adjust for the present and future instead of functioning in the past.

Clinging tightly to the cultural pull of tradition or ritual can create an illusion—one of a present constructed of the past without considering the reality of these changes. Thereby stuck in time and ignoring the practical application outside of our subgroup. Remaining comfortably contained within our subgroup normalizes that group but not interactions with those outside that subgroup.

There is never an issue when everyone agrees. Still, any deviation results in some fraction being dissatisfied and exploiting a distinction solely based upon opposition to their preference or choice. Therefore, with those outside our subgroup, cultural and geographical disparities allowing for some degree of other’s dissatisfaction, we expect them to allow for a mutual degree of our discontent.

When in Rome, you do not have to do what the Romans do, but practices that do not infringe upon us are of consequence to only those who practice them. A perspective or tradition imposed upon a different environment other than those in agreement or harming others develops a problem.

Perspectives need to be in step with time as the world has become global, and movement is not confined to our little piece of real estate or experiences. There needs to be respect for others’ differences and geographical influences without abuses of their rights as human beings and residents of the universe. Assimilation is not to become identical to some subgroup or environment at the expense of your culture but to reflect the collective commonality of coexistence.

Assimilation is more of an idea than action because control of what someone self-defines themselves as is strictly subjective. For example, suppose you are categorically opposed to someone for whatever reason. Can you stop that person from feeling the opposite for you if that is what they choose? What about a sport’s fan-favorite team? Can you stop a person from cheering for that team despite your disapproval or knowledge by claiming it as yours?

It becomes an illusion projected outwardly without the detachment to travel outside your perspective. So, it remains within you, having no influence or effect on other’s shared preferences. We are a member of many groups that, without our consent, we do not sanction the membership of. What about a song we like? Can we control who else likes it, or a particular flavor of ice cream whose favorite it also maybe?

We share cross-culturally far more when examined from a humanistic perspective than from a cultural or geographical perspective. Just as people everywhere want the best for their children, why can’t others be allowed to want the same as well. Geography limits our imagination and acceptance because it restricts the definition of our commonality to a location, nationality, religion, or race.

This restriction is reinforced, diluted, and distorted according to who has conquered who at what point in history. What external challenges are to be faced and overcame. During times of crisis, danger, or needed solidarity, any division within or among these subgroups is expanded beyond these allegiances to the maximum mutual demographic affected.

In other words, it grows exponentially from our home to our neighborhood, from our city or state to our country. Then, finally, globally and to every other subgroup such as gender, race, wealth, poverty, religion, and so forth, when faced with a common threat.

When the shoes get tight, and the rubber meets the road, need seems to be the overwhelming unifying factor across all cultural and geographic boundaries. As language can travel without a passport and across all boundaries, commonality of interest travels even further, is more understood, and universally embraced within a common interest or need.

If a global threat from an invading celestial force descended upon earth, then we would all suddenly become earthlings or the human race and not of our identifying subgroup but binding together for the greater good and our mutual survival against a shared threat. The necessity of a universal definition and purpose realigns any subgroups to a consolidated identification and determination.

To assemble under specific affiliations is essentially a matter of comparing preferences to an outside group’s preferences. This, in turn, establishes the group’s criteria and beliefs with various hierarchies within the group as far as deeds, acceptance, and dedication. Thus, there are levels to everything, and their corresponding judgments, prestige, or values.

Validation that confirms your identity within the group deprives you of your individuality because you must submit to that of the group’s external projection in exchange. Reinforcing your desire to belong becomes the goal for your participation. Commitment to defined expectations supersedes adaption to external perspectives. Stubbornness sets in, leading to foolish rigidity and shortsightedness in a vacuum. A tunnel vision of them and us.

Justifying our preferences producing our reality within a larger reality that interacts and encompasses ours does not function outside our smaller reality. Instead, the larger reality functions outside the limitations of our limited acceptance and understanding, creating an impracticality in time, function, and ideology.

Somewhat illogical when you think about how often you indulge contrary to your biases. The denial of a culture you reject often has foods, influences, and products that you accept but not the people or culture that produces it. Cultural differences should be embraced as the variety of life that stimulates life’s experiences.

We only experience portions that could comprise the whole of our experiences when not allowing for things beyond our culture and understanding to expand our completeness. That which threatens your identity is a byproduct of your lack of self-acceptance and dissatisfaction with your circumstances projected upon another group justifying a convenient lie over the uncomfortable truth. The conscious mind convinces and deceives you of what the subconscious mind knows to be painfully true.

A group’s validation of their worthiness based upon perceived deficiencies of others thereby increases their own value by comparison having a better estimation of themselves. The validation of their value within the group becomes their cultural exclusivity, their membership. Preservation of their group culture surpasses their need for change, tolerance, or acceptance to maintain group approval.

Hiding securely within the comfort of association and exclusivity. It is upon you to celebrate your experiences concerning your parents, culture, and traditions that formed your identity as a cultural foundation. Others who do not share the same influences have their own inspiration to observe. These preferences should not be discredited or cheapened by any practices that further insult the dignity of others, celebrate discrimination, or are widely associated with reminders of atrocities.

Different is often a moral assumption and judgment of better, not a reflection that others could view you the same way. It is wrong to celebrate an injustice against someone, whether that injustice is performed by you or someone else. The perpetrator cannot determine the impact upon the afflicted; the afflicted must assess their own grievances and the impact of the injustice.

Celebrate and be proud of your individual spirit since there is only one of you in your uniqueness and embrace accepting your diversity from everyone else who walks the earth. The eyes see outwardly as a projection of you into your environment where there is still only one of you to celebrate and cultivate. Therefore, embrace your uniqueness and accept other’s uniqueness because there is only one of them. In the end, we all share the same uniqueness and commonality; there is only one of us.

The threat to our mutual survival is not of a celestial adversary but one that has been engineered on earth that threatens our children’s future and our co-existence as a species. If you want to exist, then you must allow others to exist, including plants, animals, and humans, all equitably. We are all citizens of the universe, whether we like it or not.

It would be best to make the best of it and bring cultural differences and socially engineered deceptions to examination and adapt from the past to the future. The greatest empires and civilizations the world has ever known have had an exploration date for one reason or the other.

We should at least make our demise something out of our control instead of protecting a global threat or festering our inability to denounce current and past atrocities and exploitations. Everyone must concede at least a little sacrifice; the world has change dimensionally, and so should we. It is not always where you are from but where you must adapt to and make allowances. We are all different but in most ways the same.

Thurston K. Atlas

Creating A Buzz