3.10.2010

Culture pt VIII

While I am clearly less qualified (and so will say less about it) to talk about the intricacies of a culture I am largely unfamiliar with, it seems clear that an Honor/Shame culture also has both strengths and weaknesses.

What I see as the strength is the deep awareness of community. There seems to be a communal identity that is hard for a Westerner to grasp. This leads to a belonging to, and an honoring of, others that is second nature (or rather first nature). This leads to a willingness to serve and sacrifice on behalf of others that truly rises to the scriptural mandate to 'view others as better than yourself.'

It is this sense of belonging, however, that causes the deep sense of resentment and shame directed towards other groups, individuals within your own group, or even ones own self. This is the weakness, an emotional (and sometimes physical) violence directed at people who have done something undesirable (but not necessarily wrong).

For both cultures it seems as though the strength and the weakness are two sides of the same coin...

2 comments:

~bean said...

this is has been great reading your thoughts on culture Steve- are you writing a book?

Steve S. said...

:)

I know that writers start young if they are writing 'literature.' But if you are someone who is going to write about the wisdom of life in the Kingdom, I have always felt like it would be remarkably presumptuous to do so without some seriously dented armor...

And while I have been kicked in the head a few times now, mine is barely scuffed, nowhere near dented.