People need to get out of their culture so they can really see what is going on. Experiencing other cultures helps one to see what works and what doesn’t. Then and only then can someone offer up a legitimate prescription for how to change and grow. While there are well intentioned people offering up ideas, what I hear and hear a lot of these days is this esoteric ungraspable way of speaking. It may sound good, but it makes no sense to those that really need it.
There is so much content, so many “experts,” whether YouTube, Podcasts or even bloggers. Who we are trying to reach is not necessarily the listeners or readers that need it. They are the converted and we are preaching to the choir. They seek out what they want to hear, but do they vet the the providers of content? Just because someone may be good at marketing or slick talking or does some sort of give away to attract followers (which incidentally somehow makes one an “expert”) doesn’t make them the expert in the least.
People who are not listening are the ones that really need it from people who know what they are talking about, and coming from a place of altruistic intentions. As ironic as it sounds the people who are preaching are people of privilege. And often the privilege do not get out and get perspective.
Living in Japan for as long as I have, has given me the opportunity to gain a very different perspective on the world because of confronting my own cultural biases and expectations. Everything from my natural inclination towards narcissism, a common American trait, to individuality, which in essence means I come before anyone else, to things like child rearing and marriage. It has not been easy to extricate these qualities and way of being, or at the very least paring them down so that they are not the dominant force. I have had to learn to to what I call “move with the culture.” That is letting things unfold as they are meant to rather than muscling my way or making it happen on my time. This is very different than the “rugged individualism” myth that so dominates American society.
This has not come easy. Change does not come easy. I have spoken as of late about commitment and discipline. That is what it has taken to get to this place so far in life. It has taken patience, effort, not that effort where you force it, rather the effort to learn how to let go and accept the change that comes. This is a very different approach. It is not without pain. But that is up to you how much you want to hold on. The more you hold, the more the pain and unneeded suffering.
So with that said, get out, get perspective, whether it is a big move to a new country or something as simple as a vacation somewhere you have never been.
You just might find yourself and a new perspective.
An excellent video by a controversial figure, Jordan Peterson on the 10 things that will change your life immediately.