You just can’t understand unless . . .

I’m just reading through a few “multi-cultural” posts on Facebook and shaking my head.

It never ceases to amaze me how a person who reads about something claims to know more than those who are living through it. I’m reminded of a good friend of mine from England (a sil-hillian I believe is the local term) tried to argue with me about what happened during the “war-between-the-states” (or what I call the Second American Revolution). What she was taught, both in England and the U.S., was the “popular version”; whereas my outlook was from journals, the press of the time, visiting European scholars who were there, and family history.

More recently I had a friend from Asia who couldn’t understand why so many of us were against “universal health care”. They could not understand that it was neither “universal” nor “health care”! (Just a pretty name for another government power grab.)  They were also shocked that I would so publicly disagree with the government.

Most citizens in other countries simply cannot grasp what it actually is to be an American. Our way of life, our way of thinking, our very core is alien to their experiences.

Hell, even the average American still thinks that this country is a democracy! (We’re a Constitutional Republic, by the way. BIG Difference!).

No matter where you get your news there is ALWAYS bias. Especially in other areas of the world. You can’t help it!  Every day of your life you are being subtly influenced by your family, your friends, the music you listen to, the magazines that you read, the advertisements that you try to ignore . . . EVERYTHING!

Unless you grow up in a culture, completely immersed in it from childhood, you really cannot understand it completely. And it is extremely arrogant to think otherwise of yourself.  I still remember an argument I got into once when a friend from the U.K. sneezed in front of me.  On reflex I said, “gesundheit” .  I was yelled at for 15 minutes for “making up a word” instead of saying “bless you”.

I have countless examples going through my head of cultures clashing but I think this is long enough . . . for now.