Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What Color Is Your World?

I was reading a very interesting article that talks about a study they have done about how our own culture affects how our brains are shaped. Depending on where we live and the cultural information (formation) we receive our brain takes a different shape than that of people who live in a different country (culture).

What is really interesting of this article is that it helps us realize how deeply ingrained is our culture in each one of us to the point that it shapes our brain differently. To me, it raises so many questions! But at the same time, it helps me understand why it becomes so difficult to adapt to a different culture for so many people! How can you adapt... let alone adapt, how can you understand a foreign custom when it doesn't make sense because it is stored in a different "compartment" of your brain! It is very clear to me that this whole thing of being an expat and trying to feel at home in your new world is a lot more of a conscious effort (for many people it can even be a struggle) than a smooth transition.

It also makes me wonder what will happen with my son, who was born here and who will grow up immersed in the Canadian culture, but whose brain will also be shaped with some of the Mexicn culture. What a fascinating experience! I am sure that this difference in how his brain will be shaped he will be more open and sensitive about other cultures and much more understanding.

The article also talks about the "universal truths" and how much they mean or not mean the same to everyone. It is just as if each culture saw the world in a different color, but because we don't know any better, we asume everyone sees it the way we do. And it doesn't mean we are not tolerant or willing to accept the differences, it is just that we have never (and will never) be able to see it any other way. It is a huge trust issue!

So, who gets to decide what the definition of "human rights", or "wealth", or "democracy" is... as the world becomes more globalized these become more delicate issues. And as the cultures continue to merge and people continue to move from one place to another, the possibilities become countless!

For me it is just amazing how us humans continue to evolve and change as social beings, and how, at the same time, we become better able to understand ourselves and our relationships with others.
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