What is Culture?

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I’ve been thinking a lot about this question lately: what is culture? With the cancellation of event after event, game after game, gathering after gathering, we’ve been forced to withdraw from our collective culture piece by piece. It’s odd. Because we don’t feel like we are actively participating in culture on a daily basis. We just live our lives and run our errands and think about the next day.

But when ‘our lives’ come screeching to a halt, we realize that we were in fact participating in our country’s culture every single moment of our lives. Work is culture. Play is culture. Language is culture. School is culture. Relationships are culture. Sports are culture. The list goes on and on. It’s all encompassing. At the end of the day, we are all slaves to our culture. We don’t realize it, but we are. Having lived in Germany for over two years, I became hyper ware of the influence of culture. I actively felt like a fish out of water at all times because, well, I was.

I don’t have any particular point with this rambling post other than to say that maybe this season could be a time to reflect on our country’s culture: what about it works? What doesn’t? How can we improve it? Are we contributing positively to the collective whole or detracting from it?

And lastly, a lovely poem for you:

And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.

And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.

And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.

–Kitty O’Meara

PS. Photo of me trying and failing to act Parisian in Paris a few years ago 🙂