For those that have the luxury to travel around the world, they will experience the many different styles in which people interact. However, if a person is capable of great awareness they will see the many cultural differences that exist in their own community. Culture takes shape amongst people that identify with certain groups in the local school or work place.
One person may have many groups they belong to such as religion, political, educational, career, sport, family, art, sex, food, language, etc… The combination of all the groups compose the individuals singular culture/identity. The vastness of the combination makes culture a very complex topic. As I write this piece I am listening to a program that is discussing car culture. These complexities are what make political discussions difficult and peace an elusive dream.
We get lost in the complexity of life to easily as we have a deep honour for being complex. In reality, culture is a luxury and the basics of life are often left to the way side. For example we can look at the base of most religions which is peace. The conversation of being peaceful quickly gets lost in the conflict of how to achieve peace, thus we lose peace.
There exists a great hypocrisy around the world which culture and peace intertwine. This hypocrisy is the reality that every group has rules, methods, understandings and guidelines. These parameters provide identity and security for the group. For terrorist organizations, gangs, and every other group there is a desire to seek out those that are lost in their own identity. In some circles this act of converting and or seeking out lost souls (as an example) is known as brainwashing.
With the recent terrorist acts in Algeria, Canada is asking some serious questions about this very topic. Canadians are asking how a youth could evolve into a person that travels across the world to engage in terrorist acts. As other nations go through similar processes, answers usually start with the same words – This is a very complex issue.
Well it can be complex if you choose to think that way. Now if you want to make it less complex move the conversation inward to the self. Even though the self can be a very complex issue if you choose it to be, taking a singular moment provides focus.
For me to understand the world I keep the following phrase fresh in the mind: Everyone acts in the best way they believe will improve the world. Another phrase that a friend of mine came up with is, For humanity sake always give options. With those two elements, understanding and openness provides an avenue to understand why and how terrorism seeks out lost souls.
The simple question to ask yourself is, what would it take for you to act in such a manner. Most likely a person would feel frustrated, with no clear understanding of who they are, feel alone or disconnected from both family, friends and or the larger community.
As each of us walk around the communities we live we should feel the vibrant cultures that exist. We must keep in mind that the world exists in that community as well. What happens in a community on the other side of the world does have an impact in every other community around the world. For this singular reality, having a culture of being peaceful to each other at all times is of great importance.