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I've been wondering

As I have been getting acquainted with PulseWire these last few months I think it is amazing and beautiful the connections that exist across cultures and continents. I love the genuine care and attention that I see being paid to one another’s thoughts and experiences. This has made me think about the way people experience and tell their story and how that is shaped by the way they understand the world. I am curious about what shapes the way different people see who they are and what they know. Sometimes I read somebody’s post and wonder if my opinion or thoughts on what they are saying could ever possibly be relevant or understood when our backgrounds are so different. This question has been put to rest on this site as I see over and over the love and friendship that people give one another. However, could our conversation go deeper and become stronger if we had a better glimpse into each other's lives?

I wonder what are those things that affect the way we see the world. What are the stories of our family and culture that become the stories of our lives? I’m sure more of them are unknown than known even to us ourselves. Whether its as small as telling you that my grandpa used to wiggle his ears unconsciously when he was pulling my leg, or as big as the effect the Protestant Revolution had on society, these things shape the way we see the world. A silly example of what I’m talking about: I did not see any of the original Star Wars movies until just before the first new movie came out. I remember my friends decided we needed to have a Star Wars marathon before we went to see the new movie. All of a sudden I went from having seen none of the Star Wars movies to having seen them all in a matter of 24 hours. I didn’t think anything of this until later as I began to notice all these Star Wars references that existed around me: phrases I knew or even used, things I understood through context but never realized where they came from. The story of Star Wars had been ingrained into the culture so much that I was familiar with it without even understanding the story itself. I wonder what are the stories of our culture that shape our understanding? What are the traditions that shape our reality?

My heart and mind are open to deeper love and compassion through understanding.



I say this all the time to Jonah when he is wearing a hoodie. Star Wars is actually based in a lot of mythology, so how cool that there are so many cultural references to the movies!

Thanks for starting this group.


jleving's picture

Fish out of water

I think you've hit on the key goal of cultural anthropology: to find out the ingrained, pervasive world outlooks of people who grew up differently than we did. People often think of culture as the music, food or art of a people, but that's not really it. It's like asking a fish the most important thing in his life -- he probably wouldn't even think to say water, because he's never known a world without it. Food and music change over time, but the subconscious frameworks within which people operate persist. Before we understand anything else, we must seek to understand those frameworks.

I think maybe some basic ingrained cultural constructs in American society are free will, justice for "wrongdoers," and the idea of self-betterment and social mobility (aka the American Dream).

Cool group idea :)


jleving's picture

(Sorry for the double post)

Can't figure out how to delete this...

joyomosh's picture

Speak the Language of love...

I have read through your article and it feels like you are echoing my sentiments as a writer. I always wish to communicate to the world and many are the times that I fee like I have a universal audience that I tend to confuse. I say things that affect the African people in a language that may not easily be understood by them but the rest of the world will. But at the end of the day, I am glad that someone somewhere understands my language because I speak (write) in love.

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