Humans have always fought for the land with a view to protecting cultural norms. We belong to our land and our land belongs to us. Therefore, traditionally culture has been geographically linked. With technology, modernization, affluence and ease of travel, global nomadic lifestyles are changing the definition of cultural norms.
It is important that we broaden the scope of our understanding of culture and be aware of the limits we place on people when we define them culturally. Additionally, in business, companies and multinational entities need to shift from diversity awareness to multiculturalism and intercultural inclusion if they are to continue to have a substantial global impact.
Additionally, when we assess other people’s cultures and categorize people based on their implicit or overt membership in a particular culture, we choose to see that person as part of a group as opposed to an individual. When we observe others only through the lens of their cultural context, we limit their humanity and individuality.
On the other hand, when we observe people only as individuals and do not encourage them to connect with others and partially define themselves as part of a larger group, we are depriving them of to be an active participant in the beauty of collaboration and the depth that the mosaic of culture brings to our daily lives.
The irony of culture in America is that although it was this exceptional environment that first placed individual rights and freedoms above group rights, prejudices against groups that are racial and culturally defined continue to prevail. to be a relentless destructive standard.
Humans have an innate need to be part of a group, a tribe that has cultural expression. When we are born, we belong to our mothers, our fathers and our families. Humans are the most powerless creatures at birth, so our need to belong to a family system runs deep in our developmental DNA. In addition, very few of us throughout our lives live in complete isolation. We were created to belong to a group and thus to express and cherish our individual traits while simultaneously belonging to a group in which we are productive is necessary for the survival of the human race.
The delicate balance between an individual’s personal expression and that person’s membership in a group is something that is fluid and changes throughout life based on individual experience and age. As children, our whole identity is based on our gender, our age and the family unit to which we belong. As we age, we use location and membership in higher education institutions or professions to further define and distinguish ourselves within the larger group to which we belong.
The lack of awareness of this evolutionary pattern can create a lot of turmoil for people in transition. Nomads around the world and Third Culture children in particular find it difficult to cope with some of these issues of belonging to these various groups. As a result, they may feel a lack of deep connections with larger groups, as they recognize that they do not belong to any particular culture.
For people who feel culturally lost or don’t feel a strong connection to a particular cultural group, the key is to be aware of where your individuality turns into group dynamics at any given time. Check back with yourself regularly and think about this. Become more aware and take risks by engaging with mono-cultural people.
Comment on my blog the creative solutions you have had in this area. How did you become aware of our individuality in relation to the group? What is the importance of consciously belonging to a group?