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mid-week Connect: 8/10/22 ~ Cultural Isolation



Greetings and Happy Midweek!

With covid ever present here in the US, including frequent needs to “self-isolate” to protect ourselves and our communities, I thought we’d take a look at isolation today - from one cultural perspective. This fits neatly into both the HOME dimension of our Global SKILLs 3D Dynamics model and the PROfile component of our PROACTive strategies.*


HOME is who we are, and our cultural PROfile helps us identify what makes up who we are. Included in these can be aspects of cultural isolation: positive (affirming roots, living legacies), negative (preventing innovation, marginalizing certain groups) or more likely, a complex mix of both - this can get very complicated! What I’d like to focus on here is that it’s important, as we live and work cross-culturally, to be aware of and try to understand how and why we and anyone else chooses to isolate culturally.


I would propose in addition, finding positive aspects of that choice can be both informative and supportive. For example, I live in a region here in central Pennsylvania where large communities of Amish people live in isolation from modern society. This includes not using motor vehicles, or electricity or basically anything which would tie them to modern conveniences. One day recently, I was on WhatsApp talking with a friend in southern Senegal - and an Amish party went by on the road. I showed him the real time video of Amish horse-drawn buggies, full of happy families in their quaint attire, parading by - and he was astonished. I loved his response, “Oh! That looks like the village here - with horses and carts…I didn’t know people would choose to live like that in America!” Instead of wondering why they’d make that choice, having (as they do here) the option of fancy cars, he was struck by how at least this one facet of their lifestyle resembles something he is familiar with and values. We then had a great conversation about the advantages, and also the disadvantages, of having modern ‘conveniences’. This drew us closer as friends and I think served to affirm both ways of life - his and mine.


And so, just as is the case with isolating to protect from covid, cultural isolation can have both pros and cons. Never to minimize potential dangerous results of total isolation in any way, sometimes it can be helpful, even refreshing, to focus on the pros of choosing levels of isolation which serve us well.

How about you ~ what’s a positive example of cultural isolation you have experienced?

Share about that with a friend or note it here.

And check out the Global SKILLs LINKs below for more on the dynamics of cultural isolation.

Thanks for being part of this Connect community.

Until next week,

Betsy


Global SKILLs LINKs

~ a fascinating mix of Caribbean versions of Mennonite cultures (another version of the Amish, mostly in this case from Russian background: https://caribbeanlifestyle.com/the-mennonites-of-belize/

~ an interesting academic discussion of social isolation - applicable in many ways to cultural isolation: https://www.rwjf.org/en/blog/2019/01/what-communities-are-doing-to-address-social-isolation.html


Notes:

* Through my business Global SKILLs and several partner subsidiaries I offer unique cross-cultural consulting and training including:

3 Dimensional Dynamics Model:

1st dimension = HOME (which we explored today); 2nd dimension = HOST ; 3rd dimension = HARBOR)

PROACTive Learning Strategies: PRO = PROfile (which we also explored today), PROcess, PROgram & PROjects

ACT = Application, Collaboration and Transformation

~ contact me for more information on this model and these strategies and how you might use them in your current programming


2022 ~ Celebrating 40+ years of working in

intercultural communications and global community building

“It takes a community to build a community”

Please Note: this is copyrighted content.

Please do not reproduce or share without my permission (betsy.barbour@gmail.com)


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