The word culture literally means the tilling of the land.
And so, from the anthropological view, culture is the way we cultivate the ideas, beliefs, values, and knowledge, and transmit them from one generation to the other.
It’s the ultimate food for thought and the basis for society’s ongoing discussion with ourselves as to how we think we should be.
As the saying goes, without culture, we are nothing.
And yet, it shouldn’t trap us into accepting everything.
When culture becomes a conspiracy to convince its members to conform their desires to what is considered by the masses as right and good, we are in trouble.
When culture becomes this enormous force of persuasion that fully indoctrinates people with its deluded model of happiness, we are in trouble.
It reminds me of a question my college roommate used to ask:
Do you believe what you believe because you investigated the truth and made the decision to believe, or because lots of people told you to believe, and you mindlessly followed?
That’s when culture can turn on itself. When it becomes our replacement for independent thinking.
And make no mistake, the value of shared effort and cooperative spirit is immeasurable to the future of our species.
But it’s also key that each person understands the boundary between where self ends and culture begins.
That we carve out a special space in the world in which we find our authentic voice.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How far can you travel from your core self without breaking?
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That Guy with the Nametag
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