Creating Your Culture

When I was away on vacation this last week, I realized how much I enjoyed getting out of the city and away from the "rat race". It’s almost as though you finally get a chance to "unplug" and therefore you’re much more easily able to find yourself again. With this in mind, I was reminded of what I said before about culture. That being that not only does our culture define us but we too define our culture.

Why this was important to me is that I realized that if we are going to live in these ever increasingly fast paced times, where changes occur at a dizzying rate, then we need something to ground or anchor us so that we don’t lose our way and more importantly don’t lose our self identity in the process. For me, cultural values are the perfect anchor because not only do they define how you want to live your life but they also emanate from you and can change the world around you. In other words, you define your culture and your culture influences those around you when you interact with them.

A great example of this was back when I used to play Counter-Strike. During that time, I was playing in a computer game in a totally fictitious make believe environment. Yet in interacting with others within that game, I still held true to the values that I strongly believed in as a person. On our Counter-Strike server where we let people play in our "world", we were very adamant in defining the values and rules of our community’s culture and expected those within that environment to follow them otherwise they could go elsewhere. We promoted an open, caring, and sharing environment where "newbies" (those new to the game) could come and receive help without being harassed or ridiculed. As mentioned previously, this created a wonderfully enjoyable environment for everyone within our community (it almost reminded me of the TV series Cheers where you show up and everyone yells "Norm!").

2 thoughts on “Creating Your Culture

  1. Wow, Noland, you really impress me with your ability to keep on top of your blogging. I experienced the same sensation of being "unplugged" during my trip to Paris in april. Thinking about how much our culture values the professions makes me realize how counterproductive this economic ethos is to our spiritual well-being. As a human being I crave a variety of "inputs", however extracting ourselves from the system, even for a little while, isn’t feasible for everyone. Makes me want to go back to Paris…

  2. "Thinking about how much our culture values the professions makes me realize how counterproductive this economic ethos is to our spiritual well-being."

    Well said indeed! Charlie Chaplin even saws the signs of this back in the early 1940’s.

    "We think too much and feel too little." – Charlie Chaplin, The Great Dictator Speech

    "As a human being I crave a variety of "inputs", however extracting ourselves from the system, even for a little while, isn’t feasible for everyone."

    Ah but there in lies the paradox! 🙂

    Often times, that which we crave the most is what we need the least and what we crave the least is what we need the most. I feel more connected to the world (and the billions of people on this planet) sitting out in the middle of nature than I do sitting on this computer supposedly connected to millions of people on the Internet. Yet sadly, I spend most of my time on this computer and very little of my time out in nature.

    As others have already said, we need to start balancing out our hearts and minds.

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