It has always been a wonder, where does the earth end? It is such questions that led men to take their parcels containing food and all basic necessities to start the journey in pursuit of finding out the boundaries where the earth ends and perhaps something else starts. Most who have ‘succeeded’ to the length have only been so successful to reaching back to the point where they began. only coming back to where they had started their journey from as where it ends. As a result, a fact now known to all of us, they concluded they had only travelled in a circle, only proving the world or earth is round.
Where does life begin? we see that the pattern in concluding the world or earth as round mimick life itself. You start and end, if life has an ending where you began. Of course in essence there are some who consider such start and end as only applicable to our physical bodies, a fact proven in faith and science, the body as from story of creation started from soil and so to soil it goes back when it has ‘died’. This truth is for everything we see in the world it has to go back where it started.
Look at the oceans, seas, look at the skies, look at all living creatures. Where did they begin and where do they end up? The waters we see is always there in circles; the rain comes, some of its waters go straight on to rivers which collectively end up in the ocean, a large quantity down into the soil and we have it evaporate going back on to the sky and coming back as rain and the process repeats itself over and over again. We found it and it’s always been there, men have only managed in some instances to take advantage of the process when they have understood its stages but can not stop it.
The quotes this week come from a book that encourages us to celebrate cultural differences, people’s differences no matter where they are in the world. As its back cover explains, the book encourages us to understand our own cultures before we interact with other cultures. I am sure that the selected quotations below extracted from the book will enlighten you to one or two life lessons, read and enjoy:
RIDING THE WAVES OF CULTURE – UNDERSTANDING CULTURAL DIVERSITY IN BUSINESS by Fons Trompenaars and Charles Hampden-Turner
“Members of cultures which are affectively neutral do not telegraph their feelings but keep them carefully controlled and subdued. In contrast, in cultures high on on affectivity people show their feelings plainly by laughing, smiling, grimacing, scowling and gesturing; they attempt to find immediate outlets for their feelings. We should be careful not to over-interpret such differences. Neutral cultures are not necessarily cold or unfeeling, nor are they emotionally constipated or repressed. The amount of emotion we show is often the result of convention. In a culture in which feelings are controlled, irrepressible joy or grief will still signal loudly. In a culture where feelings are amplified, they will have to be signalled more loudly still in order to register at all. In a culture where everyone emotes, we may not find words or expressions adequate for our strongest feelings, since they have all been used up.”
“A British manager posted to Nigeria found that it was very effective to raise his voice for important issues. His Nigerian subordinates saw this unexpected explosion by a normally self-controlled manager as a sign of extra concern. After success in Nigeria he was posted to Malaysia. Shouting there was a sign of loss of face; his colleagues did not take him seriously and he was transferred.”
“Specific cultures find it much easier to criticise people without devastating the whole life space of the target of that criticism. —— …..In a second case a British manager who fired an employee in Central Africa was later poisoned, with the seeming connivance of the other African employees. The fired man had a large number of hungry children and had stolen meat from the company cafeteria. In a diffuse culture ‘stealing’ is not easily separable from domestic circumstances and the western habit of separating an ‘office crime’ from a ‘problem at home’ is not acceptable. —– We must be careful, however, not to regard diffuse cultures as ‘primitive’. Japanese corporations give bigger salaries to workers with larger families, help in the search for housing and often provide recreation facilities, vacations and consumer products at favourable prices.”
“Cultures also vary on the permissible use of humour. In Britain or the USA we often start our workshops with a cartoon or anecdote which makes a joke about the main points to be covered. This is always a success. Hence one of the first workshops in Germany was launched, with some confidence, with a cartoon deriding European cultural differences. Nobody laughed; indeed, the audience was taking notes and looked more puzzled than it had done. As the week went by, however, there was a lot of laughter in the bar, and eventually even in the sessions. It was simply that it was not permissible in a professional setting, between strangers.”