Full Time Pastor, Part Time Missionary
1 day ago
culture: The sum of attitudes, customs, and beliefs that distinguishes one group of people from another. Culture is transmitted, through language, material objects, ritual, institutions, and art, from one generation to the next.
cul⋅ture 1. the quality in a person or society that arises from a concern for what is regarded as excellent in arts, letters, manners, scholarly pursuits, etc. 3. a particular form or stage of civilization, as that of a certain nation or period: Greek culture. 5. the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group: the youth culture; the drug culture. 6. Anthropology. the sum total of ways of living built up by a group of human beings and transmitted from one generation to another.I often hear or read about people saying that they love the Honduran culture. I wonder which parts of the culture they are referring to. If someone is picking and choosing what they like by referring to the art, language, food, or personalities of some of the people that they have met, maybe that is a fair statement. In most cases, if they are referring to "the sum total of ways of living", then I have to believe that they are not very well informed about Honduran culture today.
Culture, therefore, should be a life-enhancing process, not some semantic refuge in which boors, barbarians and miscreants can hide. Moreover, history strongly suggests that "cultures" that do not adapt to external models and influences stagnate, atrophy and die. The inclination to absorb and be stimulated by such influences is encoded in cultures that survive and thrive. It's their nature to accept change and evolve. It's the key to their very survival.This paragraph really struck me and I saved it knowing that sooner or later, I'd write an article where these ideas would fit. Lorenzo D. Belveal had these thoughts about patronizing Central America:
Our (US) national policy toward this region is largely unchanged from the approach that Franklin Roosevelt fashioned under the canopy of his "Good Neighbor Policy."An even tougher question is "How can destructive aspects of a culture be changed?" I have no answers to that one.
This unfortunate notion essentially called for patronizing Central America as one might indulge small, somewhat mentally deprived children. As long as they were "nice," the goodies kept coming in the form of non-repayable loans, grants, technological missions, and a variety of other direct and indirect "payoffs" for good behavior.