Thursday, August 17, 2006

culture shock

out here at camp we get such a wide spectrum of groups. groups that are from the inner city, or suburbs, or even the boonies. groups that are conservative and groups that are liberal. we attract various denominations...ethnic groups...and so on. diversity is the word to use when describing the groups that we serve here at dickson valley camp. watching these groups come and go over the last year, i have seen that these groups have an established culture...with that in mind, i start to wonder if these groups attract a particular culture or if these groups create this culture.
culture defined: "the predominating attitudes and behavior that characterize the functioning of a group or organization. the totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought."
according to this definition i am led to believe that culture is created and taught...interesting...what do you think?
but then to some this is just random nonsense...what's the point of all this culture talk? well, i think back to some of the groups that have stayed here and remember thinking how odd some of them were compared to what i knew and had experienced. i remember being curious about why these groups did what they did. i remember struggling with know how to react or just act when coming into conact with groups that seemed so foreign to me. then i started wondering why i was so afraid to learn about these different ask about their faith...and so on...sometimes i fear that i have missed out on wonderful opportunities to learn and grow by being so comfortable in my own little culture and not being very open to or accepting even to other cultures.
the other thing i find interesting is the need some people see to convert others outside of their culture into one's own. where's the line between tolerating and accepting another's culture? i think this comes into play because of fear and lack of understanding of other's cultures.
so i guess all of this babble is to challenge myself and even you to learn to be inquisitive of others' cultures...find out what makes them tick...why they tick that way...what makes you similar...what makes you different...does any of that stuff really matter...can we love those so different from us as Christ loves us??? i would love to say that i got this market cornered...but it is not the case...i am still learning to look outside my not be afraid travel outside my bubble a bit in the relationships i not put up not just surround myself with people just like me...i mean how boring would this word be if that is all there was...God created us to be diverse...shouldn't we celebrate in our diversity and seek God in the diversity of others?

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