Cultural Diversity, Languages and Literature

A recommended approach or two to cultural diversity

June 21, 2016

When I opened the cover of my first book during the first hour of the first day of the first month in the first year of my BA Degree in Languages, Literature and Creative Writing, I had no idea of what I was letting myself in for. Because of my own cultural, aesthetic and vocational aspirations, I had a fair enough idea of where I wanted this study journey to take me. But, boy was it long and hard. One of my cousins has been particularly vocal in her remarks over my perceived high levels of intelligence and intellect. She echoes what others also make of me. But little do they all know how much I have struggled.

Even to this day, I still struggle. It takes me hours, sometimes even days or weeks to process vital information or interpret reading matter of interest to the degree that I understand it and am able to respond to it with my own words or thoughts. I also have a nasty little habit of trying to process too much, meaning that, instead of focusing my mind on just one or two pages, I read at speed in the misguided belief that I can gather in as much information as possible. As they say, old habits die hard, but, never mind, I think I’m making progress, but it’s slow. Now, what did I just tell you then?

Anyway, I think that this introduction to today’s post has now taken care of one area towards being effective with your own processing material towards understanding issues and matters of concern that you were, perhaps, previously not aware of or did not yet understand. I think this is the approach one should take towards embracing cultural diversity which, in turn, means that you should also always respond positively and kindly to those who are different to you, even if you are firmly against their set of ideologies or customs or practices. Being different is what should be making the world a great place to live in, not a recipe for ongoing and never-ending conflict.

So, what I’ve just written in the above conveniently leads us straight into this important point on how we should approach our cultural diversity, particularly and as in this case, when you are immersing yourself in culture on a literary level or just reading in general. Actually, there are two important aspects worth raising here.  The first is to be as open-minded (broad-minded) as possible. You may as well open your heart to the immense possibilities too. You never know what you can unleash or encourage others to do, whether deliberately or unintentionally. The second point here is to be as objective as possible, particularly when you are dealing with theoretical matters or non-fiction books.

How you deal with fiction is an entirely different matter altogether. In fact, here you are encouraged to be subjective. You need this in order to enrich your story experience. Here, you are within your rights to take sides as an omniscient reader. On the side of objectivity, let’s explain it this way. Pretend, for a moment, you have absolutely no emotions whatsoever. You could almost pretend that you just don’t care. But, at the same time you still need to put your thinking cap on to interpret exactly what the writer or commentator is trying to impose or suggest.

Try, even, to think scientifically. Pretend that you are a scientist and need to make calculations. Doing this, you are able to validate or disprove a point that has been raised in relation to this theme of cultural diversity. Let’s try and use an example to make this clearer. There are numerous positions taken or arguments given in relation to Darwin’s theory of evolution and his subsequent thoughts on the survival of the fittest. Can you possibly see where I’m going with this? You can already begin to evaluate this theory. You can ask questions, even answer them yourself, or argue in favor of the weaker sex – women – essentially as nurturers being a lot stronger than men.

At this point, allow me to be as subjective as I like in the context of my own blog and my right to freedom of expression, also bearing in mind that I am polite, never resorting to discriminatory language or hate speech, and always respecting my readers. Readers, in turn have their own rights. But by the time they have posted their own comment or response to my remarks, they have become writers who also need to observe the same sense of decorum as I do and firmly believe in. Fortunately, and let’s just say, that I believe we are mostly all on the same page, if you can also pardon the pun.

Most of the readers here are women of and for this world, so I think it is fair to say that many of you may just agree with my subjective thoughts which are going to close this post. Well, it really has become a bit of an about turn since I began addressing ways in which we could approach our cultural diversity. What I want to say is this. I honestly believe that women are the stronger sex. This has never truly been put to the test, because, as you know, the men of this world still rule. And on the evidence before me, they have not been doing a good job, bar a few exceptional men of this world.

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