Cultural teachers are about people who intently or otherwise came and left with time. It’s about meeting and embracing interesting and less interesting characters who weaved some of my life’s cultural values. It’s about friends who come and go in the passing of time and it’s them that shaped my individuality and identity. What ordinary people mostly see is not usually what my friends see in me. These people may see my exact opposite but it is only my friends who sees the real me. Before I met them, I had two sides of individuality- what I am and what I really am.
But as my friends would say, there is nothing wrong with having two sides. What may be wrong is choosing a side and never show the other. The struggle of both sides was greatly handled by my friends. It was a long and difficult struggle but my friends helped me to end it in order for me to grow. Now that I have grown up, I realized that without the help of my friends, I would have not lived any cultural value up to now and I would have still remained a different person as before. As many would say, individuality has its own justification.
If at some point one’s individuality is questioned or criticized or discriminated against, so long as one does not interfere with other people’s lives nor deprive them of their own happiness, one owes nobody an explanation for what he does and for who he is. But through the critics of my friends, I was able to come up with the real me. And I salute them for making me the person I deserved to be. This experience can be linked to Geert Hofstede’s Individualism wherein no matter how everyone stand out in their choice, in whatever means of comparison; still no one is different from everyone.
Still you see the same differences with the person who may be sitting right next to you, getting his own share of life’s bittersweet moments. Inevitably, my enemies are my cultural teachers too. Yes, they are, in one way or another, but they don’t necessarily be specific persons but also things and situations that I perpetually consider as perpetual enemies such as cigarettes, junk foods, noisy places, heavy traffic, among others. They influenced us in all aspect of living.
Somehow, my actions are being geared towards keeping away from these enemies. I see them as hindrances from my actions to achieve my goals. My thoughts are greatly influenced as well. Since I think of them as interruptions and intrusions, I tend to focus more on the things that will give me benefits instead. That is, showing my enemies that I am better off without them. Simply said, enemies challenge me to show off the best in me. Cultural values are also disrupted if you’ve got enemies. The enrichment and preservation of these values are corrupted.
But I look at it as assessments on how to uphold the integrity of the values I believe in. My enemies trigger a more dispiriting affective experience. The more you’re affected, the more they pushed you down. That is why I make sure to find a way to boost my morale by stepping up to the test. The action and behavior towards my enemies are matched with one of Hofstede’s cultural dimensions, the Uncertainty Avoidance. Although an enemy causes so much anxiety, there are still ways to reverse its impact.
If I may say it, I spare myself from things that are highly distressing. In the same way I dispose all the negative results of having an enemy, and use it as a tool to avoid circumstances that could interrupt my living values and lifestyle. Lastly, my cultural values have been influenced mostly in school through my teachers. Acting mainly as my second parents, teachers are my sources of knowledge and advancement. I expected them educate me using morals and necessary subject matters for me to achieve a much-coveted diploma.
They’re with me in reaching the zenith of my ambitions through sharing the knowledge that they had acquired from years of studying. They helped me make a stand and defend my conviction. The values that I got from them have also helped me cope with my day-to-day concerns and they have influenced me a lot for they know what’s right and wrong with things in life. Their language and conduct as well speak of a vast reservoir of knowledge and wisdom. As part of the youth, I tend to be very idealistic, sensitive and vulnerable, crying out all the injustices in this world with passion.
I passed harsh judgments and lashed out at anyone easily who didn’t meet my expectations. But as teachers, they have changed the way I perceive things in life. They have made me believe that I should try to have more patience, so that I could somehow balance things with intelligence and logic. Subconsciously, they have inculcated in me their own beliefs and principles without them knowing it. Without these mentors, I know I wouldn’t be able to know anything at all. In short, I owe them almost everything, if not all, the things that I have learned in life.
Considering that I have been with my teachers for long years, I would probably be relating this to the Long-Term Orientation of Hofstede in his Cultural Dimensions. Teachers have done so many things through the years that I was still with them in school. They have not just stepped in to the classroom and painstakingly teach what I, as a student doesn’t know academically but they have also left a legacy – a legacy that not all can grasp. Reference Geert Hofsted – ITIM (n. d. ). Cultural Dimensions. Retrieved September 18, 2008, from http://www. geert-hofstede. com/