PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
AbridgedThinking
 
Comments: 7
Article views: 335
 
 
Latest Badges:


 
View all AbridgedThinking's badges.
 

Reality VS Culture

02 January 2013, 12:47

I recently read a fantastic book about the experiences of a jewish American reporter on the crime beat in Tokyo, Japan. Imagine the cultural conundrums! Delicious! I was struck by his descriptions of the customs in Japan and how that permeates everything. From family groups and small societies to large organised crime groups such as the Yakuza and media and electronics conglomerates on the stock exchange. I many ways it serves as an example of how national cultural uniqueness can survive and thrive in midst of a new and emerging global culture, which is largely based on Western cornerstones.


We live in a time where a global “body of knowledge” overrides much of what we experience culturally. All over the world. There is a global suppository of business, science and technology knowledge that moves ahead relentlessly. It is unstoppable. In fact, it advances so quickly that most of the world clings on by the tips of their fingers. The danger here is, if we lose our grip, we will be left behind. The further we are left behind, the less the chance we will ever catch up. If we don’t keep up, the end is redundancy, mediocrity and poverty. Note - this is not me merely saying so. This IS so.


A quick example (and I will get to the point on South Africa, I promise), is energy. We currently live in a world where our energy is resource-based. Oil. Not just for trains, planes and automobiles. For every 1,5 calories of food we consume, we use 10,5 calories of oil! Many scientists believe we have reached what is called “peak oil”. In short, it means that we have reached the highest point on the historical output graph, and that our oil resources will be dwindling systematically from this point onwards. I’m not worried. Humanity will find an answer. However, that answer will come from science and technology. It is just one of many examples why it is critical that we keep up. 


Now we come to S.A. During two short interactions here on News24 over the festive season, I have noticed one specific trend. Many of my countrymen are, in all our diversity, desperately protective over their own cultures. Across the board, it’s almost a laager-mentality. (It’s easy for me - I don’t really have a culture. I’m a Euro-African.) This narrow cultural view is detrimental to our future. There is no way we can stamp a Zulu or Xhosa or Afrikaans (with apologies to the others I haven’t mentioned by name) fingerprint on the fast-moving global culture. It would be obtuse to try to do so. In order to be effective members of the international community we need to understand and respond to the requirements and standards of an international culture first and develop and experience our own cultures second. I know this sounds harsh, but anything else is utterly ineffectual. The Japanese understood this and responded in perfect balance. So did many of the tiger economies.


If and when I raise criticisms against our leadership in South Africa, it is not and never has been a black-white thing. It has been because our current leadership is not equipped to take anything but a short-sighted view on our future. The things I speak about are not shrouded in some future mist. They are real and happening. What we do today, the leaders we choose and the decisions we make about those leaders cannot be for cultural or race-based reasons. It will not only impact on our children. It will impact on us. If South Africa is to survive effectively, we have to get out of a resource-based pattern of thought. We have to set the standard almost unachievably high and use the best we have to pull the rest up to that standard. Not use cultural excuses to set the bar low enough to include everyone. Equality is a great emotional buzzword, but ask yourself - equal to what?

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
7 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Kalibanache
South African Genie and the Magic...

The ANC thought that they had the magic lamp when Mandela was leading. And I think they were right... But where is his lamp? Read more...

3 comments 96 views
Submitted by
Kruger
For whom the bell tolls

While speculation is rife of the ANC's impending fall and Jacob Zuma's time that is running out, the party - and it faithful - are gathering in a laager. Read more...

5 comments 926 views
Submitted by
Wouter Willemse
The Game has changed

If you are a child from the 60's, 70's or 80's in South Africa you had a different set of rules than the NewFreeBorns. Read more...

0 comments 80 views
Submitted by
Makate Rapulana
The SABC ís the voice of governme...

The public broadcaster is unapologetically the mouthpiece of any sitting government, and the opposition should reconcile itself with the fact. Read more...

7 comments 72 views
Submitted by
Makate Rapulana
ANCYL, Cosas, and the ‘nosey’ pub...

The public protector; blessed or cursed with a big and ugly nose was able to pick up a rather rancid odour emanating from a feeding trough; with Zuma and his lieutenants munching away the spoils of corruption.  Read more...

2 comments 45 views
Submitted by
Mahomed Farouk Cassim
Terror a force for good in Parly

A government that loses its moral authority ceases to govern. Instead, it will begin to rule and thus become intolerant of accountability, transparency and democratic processes.  Read more...

1 comments 145 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Digital Media & Marketing Association
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.