Cultural Differences

Welcome to when playtime is over, our goal is to stimulate thought and conversation, not to convert your perspective. As always for those who are easily offended emotions will not be needed so please check your feelings at the door.

Cultural Differences?

We are all culturally designed by the initial foundation of our existence in accordance with our environment. Our environment is determined by our parent’s circumstances and their environment, which we did not choose and to an extent was probably chosen 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. 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. The parental influence remains strong because it is part of our experience and our experiences shape our perspectives, but still it declines 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 mostly evaluate ourselves. Others also probably evaluate us as a collective standard of that place and time. The goal is to assimilate to our environment and the subgroup that we aspire to become a part of or have found our self to be a member of.

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 constantly which require our constant adaptation? As the circumstances change so must we adjust for the present and future as opposed to functioning in the past.

The cultural pull to cling to the past as tradition or ritual can create illusions of a present constructed of the past without considerations for the reality of change and practical applications outside of our subgroup. Convincingly staying contained within our subgroup as a norm for that group but not for interaction with those outside our subgroup.

There is never an issue when everyone is in agreement, but any deviation results in some fraction being dissatisfied and exploiting a distinction solely based upon opposition to their preference or choice. When dealing with those outside our subgroup, cultural, and geographical distinctions we must allow for some degree of our dissatisfaction, to expect for them to allow for a mutual degree of their dissatisfaction.

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. The problem develops when a perspective or tradition is imposed upon a different environment other than those in agreement with them or one’s that produce harm to others.

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. Suppose you are categorically opposed to someone for whatever reason, can you stop them 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 certain flavor of ice cream whose favorite it also maybe?

What we share cross-culturally is 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 if we do then 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, and what external challenges are to be overcome. When in times of crisis, danger, and the need for solidarity the division within these subgroups is expanded beyond these allegiances to the maximum group affected.

In other words, it grows exponentially from our home to our neighborhood, to our city or state, to our country, and finally the whole world; in addition 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 then 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 common 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 certain affiliations is essentially an act of comparison of 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 levels of deeds, acceptance, and dedication. 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 us and them.

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

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. Rather illogical when you think about how often you indulge contrary to your biases. Cultural differences should be embraced as the variety of life that stimulates life’s experiences. It is only a part of that which comprises the whole of your experiences while allowing for all that is beyond your culture and experience to expand your 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 in order to maintain group approval.

Hiding securely within the comfort of association and exclusivity. It is upon you to celebrate your experiences with respect to your parents, culture, and traditions that formed your identity as a cultural foundation. Others who do not share the same influences have their own influences to observe. These preferences should not be discredited or cheapened by any practices that serve to further an insult to the dignity of others, celebrate discrimination, or 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 determine 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 acceptance of your diversity from everyone else who walks the earth. What the eyes see is outwardly focused as a projection of you into your environment where there is still only one of you to be celebrated and cultivated. Embrace your uniqueness and accept other’s uniqueness because there is only one of them as well. In the end, we all share the same uniqueness and commonality; there is only one of us.

The threat to our common 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 so that there can be a 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 make 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 are that you must adapt to and make allowances for.  We are all different but most ways the same.

Thurston K. Atlas

Creating A Buzz