For many years I have tried to be nice and useful – to work with some people, to teach other people, to integrate still others. So far I have had little success with most of them. My mom once asked me “Are you sure you have always been right?”, and I said I was.
Today, after a frustrating morning, I realized that all the time I had been dealing mostly with people from different cultures. I have shared my mother tongue, ethnic and even educational, family and professional background with most of them. Still we are representatives of different sustenance cultures, i.e. we hold different beliefs about how we should earn our living.
I would like to explore as many of the questions I have come up with as possible, but let me introduce you to the three major cultures first. I hope you come back to help me work out their subcultures:
the Fast Lane culture
Its people believe and/or operate in the knowledge economy. They are aware of the exponential increase of information, the split-second advance of science and technology, the constant change in business modes.
Though some of them might be scared by the scope and speed of changes, while others are fascinated and inspired, they all believe that in order to survive or succeed, they should learn and change incessantly.
the Supermarket culture
Its people are fascinated by the prospect of buying innovative products and services developed by the Fast Laners. Although some of them might have heard of the knowledge society, they perceive it as pure abstraction and do not relate it to their own real-life experience.
Although they are aware of the existence of Fast Laners, they believe that these are an eccentric club of greedy geeks who break new ground in order to lure the Supermarketers with new products and services, which may not be immediately affordable but they constantly get more and more so.
They tacitly believe that Fast Laners will take care of Supermarketers’ survival because they somehow need them. If, however, Fast Laners do not seem to be solicitous about Supermarketers’ well-being, they are readily labeled conspirators, despised, hated, protested, sabotaged, etc.
the Jungle culture
If they are not touched by civilization, (which often turns them into Supermarketers), Junglers do not crave its accomplishments. They are happy to live in small close-knit communities, in constant contact with nature. These are Russeau’s Noble Savages (
if not waging tribals wars, of course), the sweet Bushmen of “The Gods Must be Crazy”, the tribesmen whom Carl Jung saw helping the sun rise every morning.
Representatives of these cultures come into contact with one another. Their communication seems to be full of tension and frustration at best. Is peaceful cohabitation possible? Is complete isolation feasible? What does cultural tolerance mean? Do come back to pose as many questions as you can, and, of course, to respond to my texts and the comments people would hopefully leave.