PLEASE NOTE:

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

 
AbridgedThinking
 
Comments: 7
Article views: 1
 
 
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
Mogale
The taxi always wins.

I have been riding in a taxi all my life and most times fellow motorists would ask the passengers in a taxi a question using their looks. Read more...

5 comments 248 views
Submitted by
KMAC
Kenwyn Martial Arts Centre

In the month of June we had sensei's from different styles Goju Ryu,Shotokan,Ashihara and kyokushin karate teaching and training. Read more...

5 comments 150 views
Submitted by
Dave Ntozakhele Zizi
Majority poverty

Being a majority has its advantages and disadvantages, based on various aspects of demographics the citizenry. As far as services are concerned it will always be the minority who will benefit most from government as their numbers can be serviced with the least of money, amenities in their areas will last longer be kept in working order better because of the low demand for it, while on the other hand in the areas of majority it is the excessive usage of services which causes numerous breakdowns and eventually no services. Read more...

13 comments 683 views
Submitted by
Adam Sibuyi
An Open Letter to our Leaders

We are a small cluster of like-minded citizens who are concerned with the general deterioration in the overall value system of the nation, but have abiding belief and commitment in South Africa's potential and prospects as a successful democracy. Read more...

1 comments 309 views
Submitted by
Tsepiso Sathie Nzayo
My language, my pride but where a...

South African indigenous languages are facing a formidable challenge. Read more...

18 comments 1194 views
 

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 Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

TV Get us in your home, on your television.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2015 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.