Monday, December 21, 2009

Stepping outside your zone

One of my favorite college courses was Intercultural Communications.  It forced me to step outside my comfort zone and examine my own biases.  
One particular assignment has stuck with me.  We were asked to select a culture that we felt we did not like and study it.  At the ripe old age of 25, I was a non-traditional student - had served in the Air Force - lived in different cultures.  I thought I was pretty sophisticated.  It was a bit shocking to have to admit that I did not like a whole culture.  I grew up under the influence of WWII Veterans.  The Vietnam War raged before my eyes.  My intercultural experiences were not so broad - Greenland and Spain.  To put it delicately, I had no appreciation of Asian Culture.  So, I chose to study Japan.
While I still have not traveled to an Asian country, that single assignment was life altering.  I gained a sense of continuity, ancestry, and personal spiritual growth.  Most important, I have carried a belief that there are wonderful things to be gained from really examining how someone different travels this earth.  There are many paths.  We can all benefit from exploration.  

1 comment:

  1. Hi Linda,
    Nice blog! I'm the Guide to Continuing Education at, part of The New York Times Company. I blogged about you today!

    Happy Holidays!


    Deb Peterson
    Guide to Continuing Education