March Black HistoryFact
Appreciating One's Culture As Well As Accepting That of Others
By Gini Cunningham
Another key element of the Bravo Zulu presentation that I have been writing about is appreciating culture. While the initial focus of the presentation is on the various cultures of the branches of the military, as I listened I constantly thought about the multitude of cultures we each encounter every day: family, rank order in a family, an adoptive or in-law relationship family, co-worker family, church family, social organization networks... The list could extend forever.
While often we gravitate toward cultures that reflect our own truths and beliefs, this is not always possible. Take work for example. While every employee may be headed for the same goal, there are lots of ways to get there, numerous interpretations of products and events, and extensive differences in perspectives and opinions. Roughly gathered backgrounds can work as a strengthening force or as a detrimental one. The strengthening comes from listening to and respecting the ideas of others while feeling that one's own ideas are accepted as well. Listened to, modified, adjusted, and redesigned, a strong group compromises to attain optimal results.
If, however, the group is so steeped in individualism and a lack of ability to consider and evaluate other potentials, the efforts will most likely be detrimental to progress. An inability to think about and reflect on a variety of possibilities inhibits their exposure and growth. A good leader works to advance approaches that vary but have similar objectives; an inept or insecure leader guide through authoritarian practices and disdain for others input.
Our individual culture reflects our attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, and values; our functioning group culture rearranges and combines, divides, multiplies, and introduces other analytical functions to create a best-case scenario. Groups that stomp, moan, berate, and accept nothing but its own culture rarely achieve long-lasting success.
And so, it is within family dynamics. The family who works as a team to confront and solve issues or problems is far more likely to achieve success than one that falls into the pit of negativity and disgust of others. In my Alzheimer's Support Group caregivers often fret about serious decisions they face in helping a loved one while being attacked by other family members, often those who live far away, who want to monitor from a distance, offer advice without clear understanding of a situations, or who demand changes when they are unaware of the actual circumstances. While I encourage conversation and interaction with those who care about a love one, I also work to strengthen the stance of my attendee. It is much different to care for someone 24/7 or several times a week than it is to dish out advice during or after a once-a-year fly-by visit.
*The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific Seattle, Washington's Chinatown-International District.
*African American Museum, in Philadelphia Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
*The Cold War Museum Vint Hill, VA
*African Meeting House, Boston, Massachusetts
*America's Black Holocaust Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
*National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago, IL
*Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, CA
*Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture, Chicago, IL
*Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, Los Angeles, CA
*Chinese American Museum, Los Angeles, CA
*Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit, Michigan
*California African American Museum, Los Angeles, California
*Korean Cultural Center, Los Angeles, CA
*Irish American Heritage, Museum, Albany NY
*DuSable Museum, African American History, Harold Washington Wing
*Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, California.
*Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art , Indianapolis, IN
*The African American Museum, Texas
*Great Blacks in Wax Museum, Baltimore, Maryland
*Great Plains Black History Museum, North Omaha, Nebraska
*Idaho Black History Museum, Boise, Idaho
*Japanese American National Museum
*Legacy Museum of African American History, Lynchburg, Virginia
*Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, Little Rock, Arkansas
*Muhammad Ali Center, Louisville, Kentucky
*Museum of African American History, Boston, Massachusetts
*Museum Of Latin American Art
*National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, D.C.
*National Museum of the American Indian, New York, NY
*National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Cincinnati,Ohio
*The National Great Blacks Iin Wax Museum
*Oak Hill Heritage House & Multicultural Research Library, Oxford, North Carolina
*Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies Chicago, IL
*Texas State Museum of Asian Cultures , Corpus Christi, TX