Today we’ll go around the world. Did you know English people experience more blame and shame than other cultures? We’re also not as good at saving money. The Chinese don’t use time in their language while Fins don’t use gender. And there’s Aborigines from Australia who can intuitively know which direction their facing. And all of that came from what language they spoke. You were shaped by your culture in amazing ways you cannot imagine so you can stop feeling personally guilty for the actions your culture has taught you to feel bad about. Attached is Jessica Gross’s article on language:
Next we’ll visit the Pacific Islands, where we learn that the tenets of Capitalism—that were the perceived tenets of people themselves—are actually incorrect. We are not fundamentally competitive in nature, we are cooperative, as this Salon by Linda Geddes points out:
And finally we’ll end on the shape of the world itself. Most of us never noticed that those Mercador maps in school put North up, and they put the equator three-quarters of the way down the page. That stretched the rich northern countries that made the maps, like Europeans and their colonies, and it made those countries look much, much larger and more important while Africa and South America looked much, much smaller. Peter’s Maps prevent that from happening and many people are pushing to have them used in schools. Here’s a funny scene from a great series, The West Wing, in which two of the President’s aids learn that they really don’t know what the world actually looks like.
You are a product of your environment. That’s why if you change your environment you’ll also change yourself.
Have a fantastic weekend everyone.
Following a serious childhood brain injury Scott McPherson unwittingly spent his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and the self. This made him as strange to others as they were to him. Seeing the self-harm people created with their own overthinking, Scott dedicated part of his life to helping others live with greater awareness. He is currently a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB, where he finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.