Economic development

Culture; A Determinant of Success and Failure

It is no news that we engage with our culture and are aware of foreign traditions, but the question is, do we absorb these lifestyles in a manner that is beneficial to our livelihood and essential to a person’s intrinsic nature, since a society is also a colossal determinate of the extent of an individual’s success and failure. Therefore, the purpose of this essay is to make understand that following and applying a society’s unwritten laws, heritage and practises are key ingredients to individual success. Being cautious of a community’s way of life (rules and regulations, beliefs, values, etiquettes, etc) allows an individual to become more productive and this creates a sense of belonging, which in its turn enables a peaceful life.

It took me about three years to really understand why my development finance professor had to teach cultural enlightenment related subjects (and hence digressing from his usual financial matters) for a whole week.

When in Japan, bow!
When in Saudi, cover up!
When in Africa, respect elders.

Jecinta Powell

I can still feel the shock I felt then as he taught with a need for an undivided attention….

Every individual is expected to enhance the traditions of a society instead of blatantly opposing their folklores. For example, obviously practising pop-culture, although a perfect medium for profit, in a highly sensitive and cultured country is an immense drawback.

Engaging with other cultures expands creativity, thoughts, knowledge and empathy, which changes perspective, re-shapes personality, reduces curiosity, improves perseverance, teaches appreciation, imparts new skills, destroys barriers and reduces anxiety, but it is important to know how, when, what and where to apply foreign cultures in a different society.

No belief, style, practice or habit is perfect to the general public, but the people have to follow these methods until the time when they are abolished- if and when it is necessary. With palms together, lean forward when in Japan, women should cover up and tie the hair when in Saudi and call elders, older strangers as well “Aunty” and “Uncle” when in Nigeria. It is not easy to step out of one’s comfort zone, but it is yet expected to do the needful for a peaceful life and in order for the next generation to follow suit.

Outright waywardness and ignorance of existing cultural practices mostly produces backlashes, disappointments and set-backs. Therefore, before taking the highway- behaving in ways that are unpleasant or abominable in certain societies- bare in mind that no one has fought to completely change the ethical principles of a people and won. Although, some strict and unfavourable traditions have been wiped out over the years due to public demonstrations insisting reforms or eradication. However, this does not license singlehanded bad behaviour. If a person thinks hostile historical conventions should be annihilated, he/she is advised to join a registered civil rights group or attend public awareness programmes. Whatever you do, make sure it is in accordance with the guidelines of that society.

In conclusion, every action is very important as no too little action is waved aside by the people of a certain tribe, especially if it hinders or interferes with existing norms. Understand that every act towards social relations counts to either becoming individually successful or disadvantaged. If a person intends on creating a sense of affiliation in his/her gathering, he/she must make sure to study and oblige to the customs and traditions of that country- learn the different people’s backgrounds, perspectives and experiences, as such an understanding would permit flexibility to prepare, advance, execute and explore.

X pj

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