Wisdom and Cultural Diversity


  Wisdom and Cultural Diversity

What is “wisdom”? The word comes from Old English and literally means “to know”. An interesting definition derives from the biblical story of King Solomon, who was considered a wise man for his age because he was gifted with the ability to ascertain truth through careful study of issues. In modern society, wisdom is typically understood as the combination of knowledge and experience.

During our lifetime we will likely come into contact with many cultures both domestically and abroad. Interacting with different people can provide invaluable opportunity to learn more about their culture while developing empathy in return for someone else's experience. This article explores the importance of seeking out wisdom from other cultures in order to better understand one's own values and worldviews.
The first step in seeking out wisdom from other cultures is identifying the different types of wisdom. Here are some of the major categories of wisdom; Natural Wisdom, Cultural Wisdom, and Spiritual Wisdom.

Natural wisdom is composed of things such as scientific knowledge and logic, which can be acquired independently through observation or study. Through this development, we can improve our ability to perform in matters that require logical thinking. Cultural wisdom comes from meeting people who have had similar experiences with a particular group, thus providing us with a foundation for making decisions based on personal opinions and experience. Lastly, spiritual wisdom represents our ability to communicate with God through prayer or other means.

Another important aspect of wisdom is finding a balance between these different forms. The emergence of culture is a beneficial development in our lives but it has been shown that one can't simply be exposed to a variety of cultures and then use this experience as the sole source of wise decision making (Kurtz, 2002).

In order to identify wisdom from other cultures, we must begin with an awareness of the particular cultural conditions. For example, Asian culture values family over work while Western culture often places a high value on work in favor of family. In addition, different cultures interpret history differently; some view history through the lens of mythology and legend while others view it through an objective point-of-view (Littell, 2010).

Another key aspect of wisdom from the perspective of a cultural group is our ability to gain knowledge from our ancestors. In order to better understand the culture of another person, it is advisable to have some knowledge about their ancestors and traditions. For example, having knowledge of the history of a culture will help you understand the evolution of this particular society as well as what values were carried forward in times past.

In addition, understanding one's culture helps us in gaining a better understanding for our own cultural perspective. For example, if you grew up on an island off the coast of Japan and had no contact with any Western cultural influences, then your worldview would likely be different than that of someone who has lived most his life in London. By taking time to understand the culture of others, we gain self-knowledge and can better appreciate our own cultural background.

It is important to remember that while learning about a new culture can provide wisdom, it's okay to be wary of cultural influences that conflict with your personal beliefs. Human beings are inherently driven by self-preservation and thus inclined to stick with what they know best (Kurtz, 2002).

Here are some questions you can ask yourself when trying to embrace wisdom from other cultures:

Before we can learn from other cultures, it is essential that we get outside of our comfort zone. Being involved with a foreign group or organization will expose you to their traditions and experiences. You will also be forced to live within their cultural norms. While you may feel stressed by the expectations of a group, these pressures are designed to push you out of your comfort zone and make you uncomfortable. This discomfort will only give you the strength and experience necessary to learn from other cultures.

Once you are able to overcome your initial fears and become comfortable with your new environment, the next step is developing empathy for our new companions. When interacting with others, we should always remember that they have similar goals and values as we do except that these can come in the form of different customs. We can develop empathy for other people by understanding their customs and beliefs, as well as being mindful of the intentions behind why they chose these actions or characteristics.

For example, some of the customs that may be foreign to you include displaying a large amount of emotion where other cultures keep a tight grip on what they think is appropriate and expected behavior. In addition, our way of analyzing situations is different in every country. It is important to realize that while we may not know everything about another culture when we start working with them, it's natural to learn more about them as the situation progresses. Not only will this help you feel more comfortable with your new environment but it will also make others feel comfortable too.

Lastly, remember that cultural exchange is meant to be a mutually beneficial experience. Just because you are learning about a new culture by working with them, doesn't mean that you should go to the opposite extreme of fully immersing yourself in their customs. It's just like learning while studying abroad; you are there to learn about others and hopefully gain some wisdom from it.

There is so much wisdom that can be obtained from other cultures and the only thing separating us from this treasure trove is our fear of the unknown. Traveling, working, or living with someone who has different cultural values can result in a mutually beneficial experience if approached with an open mind and willingness to learn about their perspective on life.

In order to truly understand the value of cultural exchange, you must first be willing to embark on this journey and make an effort to learn from others. Whenever you begin to think of your new friends with a questioning mind, you will see that they were created just for you.

Chapter 5:

Understanding Language Barriers Can be Overcome

One of the common things that many people have had in common throughout history is their desire to communicate. As a result, many languages have been developed throughout time to allow us to communicate effectively. If we were able to translate each and every word in our native language into another language, it would take several years before we could endure it all. This is precisely why we have developed a “bureaucratic language” so that we can use certain words to communicate in a more efficient manner.

However, even with the development of these languages and their specialized vocabularies, it seems as though communication is still not as efficient and accurate as it should be. This is especially true when trying to communicate with someone who speaks a different language than our own. Language barriers are one of the biggest obstacles preventing us from having direct communication between people from different cultures. Although there has been much advancement in technology to assist us with translating languages, this technology has its limitations which will be addressed later in this section.

The most common language barriers are those that occur in translating languages. Due to these barriers, we often have a hard time making sense of what the other person is trying to say. However, with technology we have become more creative and efficient in our communications. Complicated words are now replaced with up-to-date slang and acronyms which make communicating easier despite the obstacles. Although slang can be a great way to ease communication, it is still limited and sometimes does not accurately represent the thoughts of someone being translated. In addition, acronyms also rely heavily on technological devices which can be used by certain people but not everyone else.


There are numerous ways to overcome language barriers during your interactions with speakers of different languages. If you want to better communicate with someone who speaks another language, it is important that you find out what type of language barriers affect your communication the most. Sometimes we have a hard time communicating with someone who has the same native language as we do because their dialects vary from region to region. It is vital that you tread carefully and recognize the vast differences in dialects within each region because these variations can cause confusion between speakers who share the same native tongue.

In addition, there are times when individuals speak different languages but live in close proximity to each other and share a similar culture.

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