- Define culture and explain why it is important to understanding communication.
- Explain how paying attention to culture can make you a better communicator.
- Describe your own culture and share with us what makes you who you are. Your culture can be related to your race, ethnicity, gender, age, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, media preferences, hobbies, religion, etc. Try not to focus on just one of these aspects of yourself, but instead utilize as many cultural elements as possible. Think about both style (how you speak) and content (what interests you).
- How does your culture affect your communication with those in your own culture and those from other cultures?
Culture: Per our text, “culture is a relatively specialized set of traditions, beliefs, values, and norms, or standards of behavior that have been passed down from generation to generation by way of communication” (Bevan & Sole, 2014, Section 3.1). Most societies consist of many different and mixed cultures. Culture is critical to understand communication because every culture is unique and has its style of verbal and non-verbal messages. A word or gesture in one culture could mean the opposite in a different culture. So, for universal peace, we need to understand and be capable of relating to different cultures.
Paying attention to culture can help us communicate more efficiently by gaining an understanding of how different cultures share non-verbal and verbal codes or languages. If we can humble ourselves and care about other cultures, we can communicate better with them. If we care about our neighbors, we should want to gain insight into their habits. Love makes the time to familiarize itself with other cultures; we need to be able to interpret the language of love in other cultures. Words are the verbal and universal language of love, in my opinion. Gestures and other body movements can be meaningful too. For example, most cultures would understand a gesture like a pat on your own heart as meaning something to do with love. Imagine communicating without words to someone from another culture. How would we communicate with them? We need to be mindful of other cultures, instead of ignoring them because they are different. We need to see the beauty of all cultures. It is amazing how different cultures evolve!
My culture is so complex that it ‘s hard to express in words alone, as are most cultures. I consider myself an outsider to my immediate culture because I see the Oneness of all cultures; there are more similarities between cultures than differences. We all breathe the same air and partake of the same spirit, the spirit of life or God, if you will. Religion is a huge part of my culture, but not the typical, fake, hypocritical, and corrupt “doctrine of devils.” I am so against the worldliness that I see in The United States of America. Are we united? I feel that we have all been slaves, unknowingly, for a long time. So, to sum this all up without offending anyone, I am a proud, white, 36-year-old, male, and a unique and spiritual individual. I consider myself a Prophet, or in New Age terms, a Psychic or Mystic of some sort. I grew up poor; therefore, my environment and surroundings played a huge part in my social evolution. The love of money, in my book, is the root of all evil, if evil even exists. Evil means different things to different people. I feel that all cultures were scattered many years ago, when Spirit changed peoples’ tongues or languages at the tower of Babel, as described in the Holy Bible. People were living in a corrupt society, much like we live in today. They were all united and worked together to build a tower that reached the heavens. Apparently, they were on to something, and God did not think the timing was right and confounded their tongues. I cannot prove that this story existed the way the Bible declares, but it is worth considering and pondering in our minds. Imagine if we, suddenly, lost our ability to speak English. What if Spirit made everyone speak their original language, an unknown language to our minds, a complete spiritual language? This language is called glossolalia or speaking in tongues, as the Bible says. I am sorry for preaching a little, but this is who I am, and I am far from being ashamed of myself! I say that my culture has not defined me, and I will define my culture. I once was conformed to the pattern of this world, but now I am renewed in my spirit. As you can see, I am very particular and unique per the standards of this global system. I have already seen the future; therefore, I cannot remain in the past. I am of the universal, peace, and love culture! I am who I am! Romans 12:2 of the Bible says: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will know the true and perfect will of God for your life” (paraphrased).
My culture does not affect my communication with those in my culture or other cultures. Except for the language (verbal and non-verbal) differences. My culture is unique to myself and a chosen and selected few that have similar world-views and perspectives. My religion is called to establish the True Kingdom of God on Earth. Not everyone has ears to hear what I am saying right now, but there are a growing number of people, of all races and cultures, gender, age, color, creed, and religion that are like-minded and of the same spirit. Once we all evolve into more spiritual, compassionate, and empathic beings, we will all speak the universal language of love, peace, and joy. I think it would be an excellent experiment to shut down all verbal communication for a few days, to see how people from different and the same cultures relate and communicate with each other. We all have a very similar and, often, subconscious style of using sign-language. Let us go back to cave-man days, when their language was “ooga booga” (laughing out loud). It is shocking how much communication has evolved over the centuries!
Bevan, J. L., & Sole, K. (2014). Making connections: Understanding interpersonal communication (2nd ed.) [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/