Hello, Bonjour, Namaste, Salam!
Imagine if you had a friend that did not want to see, hear, about a topic that you were passionate about because they disagreed with it. What would you do to try to present them with another perspective?
I think that this challenge is relevant to the topic of diversity and culture. Often times, it can be easier to get caught in thinking that a particular perspective or way of doing something could be better or worse. Right or Wrong. Fair or not fair. But over time, I’ve realized that it is more about acknowledging the fact that differences exist based on different realities.
Growing up being surrounded by different value systems (American, Ghanaian, Arab) ,I could not afford to believe that one way was right or wrong. I believe that the differences within societies all over the world in fact make our world stronger. Culture is the solutions that a group of people create to solve their challenges on a daily basis. This is why there are differences all over our planet in terms of types of music, languages, power hierarchies, displays of emotion and socializing.
As travel is becoming more accessible, I believe that it is our responsibility as human beings to learn more about differences in our world. The fact is that no matter where you are in the world at some point you will work with someone, live with someone or receive a service from someone who is different from you in some way, shape or form. Difference is not only in terms of race but could also be in terms of ability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, and gender.
The reality is that by learning about the world we live in we become better humans’ beings and create a better communities in the process. From a business perspective we can learn how to market various products in different parts of the world. On an individual level, we can become more tolerant and gain the ability to learn from and interact with people from over our planet.
HSBC, which a global bank, has an excellent marketing campaign, that speaks to the importance of acknowledging differences that exist in our world today. It speaks to the reality that there is not a right or wrong way but different points of view that can exist.
The Cultural Encounter
Its not about right or wrong. Fair or not fair. Better or worse. It all comes down to the fact that there are different realities in our world and people make choices to adjust to their reality. It is about acknowledging the importance of difference. The differences that exist in our world can be thought of being made as a result of survival. It is these differences that make our world a more fascinating, amazing place.