what is culture

The Culture Of The Road

Culture influences all aspects of our lives. Everything from the work ethics that drives business to courtship and marriage are affected by culture. Here are some of the influences our culture has on us that we often over look:

  • Environment: How individuals view and relate to the people, objects and issues in their sphere of influence.
  • Time: How individuals perceive the nature of time and its use.
  • Action: How individuals conceptualize actions and interactions.
  • Communication: How individuals express themselves.
  • Space: How individuals share their physical and psychological space.
  • Power: How individuals view differential power relationships.
  • Individualism: How individuals define their identity.
  • Competitiveness: How individuals are motivated.
  • Structure: How individuals approach change, risk, ambiguity and uncertainty.
  • Thinking: How individuals conceptualize.

With all these influences on our minds, body and soul, is it any wonder we have to work so hard to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes?

In my travels around the world I learned more about cultures by simply shutting up, sitting quietly and observing all the differences I could notice. Of course those differences are hard to nail down and it is easy to label meditative as lazy or friendly as pushy. For example, the personal space needs for a coffee crazed Seattleite and a Bombay Indian tea drinker biking to work are usually quit different. However change the perspective and personal space similarities abound between an India traveler and a New York subway rider at rush hour. Are New York or Seattle commuters representative of the USA? With each having there claims to an American culture, who is right? I like to think they are not right or wrong. Each person, with their interpretation of their culture, is making a contribution to the melting pot that continues to simmer.

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