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"The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken."

Samuel Johnson

 

The culture of our country or group is understandably very important to us. It is like a parent to us. We should be grateful for all that our culture has given us.

At the same time, we should be able to stand back, and look at our culture as if we were outsiders. We can try to be objective (unbiased) and look at the different parts of our culture.

 

What is wrong with British culture?

It is not for us in Britain to criticise anyone else's culture. But it is fair that we can criticise our own! There may be some things that the British culture is admired for. But we have many faults.

There is a saying, "An Englishman's home is his castle." Which means, perhaps, that we are not so good on hospitality. For example, in the Middle East, it would be normal for unexpected visitors - family or friends - to be treated as honoured guests, with the best food and beds, at any time of day or night. In parts of Africa, someone might take a long journey, knowing that wherever he stopped in the evening, someone would give him shelter. In Britain, we would find it much harder to do these things.

We complain too, especially about our weather!

 

A fallen world

If the world has the sort of problems we discussed earlier, then we would expect each of our cultures to be affected too. We would expect to find both good and bad parts.

Our culture may be a problem to us if:

  • It stops us thinking in an unbiased way
  • It stops us looking at things in new ways
  • It stops us asking questions
  • It says only one way; of thought or belief is right

Don't be a slave to your culture. Be grateful for the good things it has given you. But be prepared to rise above it, and look at new possibilities.

 

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