Greetings and Happy Midweek!
To avoid falling, as frequent winter snow and icy events hit us here in the northeast US, I am watching my every footstep - and occasionally admiring the resulting footprints! So, I thought we could pause together this week, and reflect a bit on ‘cultural footprints’. This focus fits nicely into both the 1st (HOME) and the 2nd (HOST) dimensions of my Global SKILLs 3D Dynamics model because the footprints we make, along with those of others, impact our cross-cultural interactions in many ways.
Another kind of footprints, for example, which I remember so clearly are the ones a thief left in the sand, after stealing the windshield off our car when I lived in the village in southern Senegal. We woke TonTon Soly, our village father, and soon realized the bright moonlight was going to help us out! Soly immediately started investigating the area around our house, picked up a trail of footprints leading through the sand onto the (unpaved) road and heading out of the village. We learned that night that tracking was a highly valued traditional skill among the Jola people with whom we’d only lived a short time. And eventually, from a trail of footprints several kilometers long and with the help of the folks in the next village, Soly’s use of tracking led to the recovery of our windshield! What happened with the thief is another whole story I’ll save for later…
Whether from actual skills of traditional tracking (animal - or human - footprints) or more contemporary tracking (carbon footprints, GPS locations, global socio-economic trends…), I think we can easily draw several cross-cultural communications lessons. One insight is that when we pay attention to our own and others’ footprints (literal and figurative) and how these intersect, diverge, or parallel each other - we gain understanding about our own and each others’ journeys. One resulting strategy, as we move within our own cultural circles or make transitions to new cultural contexts, is to pay close attention to all different kinds of footprints…and we just might avoid a fall (like on a snowy pathway) or recover something of value to us (like on that moonlit night long ago).
How about you ~ what is one way you can ‘track’ some cultural footprints in your world today?
Share about that with a friend or note it here.
And check out the Global SKILLs LINKs below for more of different types of footprints…
Thanks for being part of this Connect community.
Until next week,
* Global SKILLs 3 Dimensional Dynamics Model: 1st dimension = HOME ; 2nd dimension = HOST (both of which we looked at today); 3rd dimension = HARBOR)
~ contact me for more information on this model and how you might use it in your current programming
Global SKILLs LINKs
~ animal tracking - ways it is done these days:
~ people tracking for a “sustainable travel future”: https://sustainabletravel.org/issues/carbon-footprint-tourism
~ and if this topic is of particular interest to you, here’s a whole book about it from diverse global perspectives: https://rowman.com/ISBN/9780761868651/World-Regional-and-Cultural-Footprints-and-Environmental-Sustainability-Analysis-of-Socioeconomic-Determinants
2022 ~ Celebrating 40+ years of working in
intercultural communications and global community building
“It takes a community to build a community”
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