Culture; commonly defined as customary beliefs, social forms and norms, material traits of a racial, religious, or social group, foods, and laws shared by people in a place or time.
All humans, whomever and wherever we are, tend to establish these defining characteristics as an extension of who we are by assuming our cultural identities as our own, sometimes to the detriment of the very cultures with which we identify.
Throughout human history, cultures have influenced virtually every aspect of our lives. It determines what and how we eat, how we view and interact with one another, our religious and political preferences, our housing and even our sexual behavior.
We can certainly reject some of the attributes of our cultures, however, none can authoritatively claim the overly coveted “self-determined individual”, for there are far too many factors influencing our lives. From the moment we’re born, until we’re pushing up daisies, we become little more than the sum of our surroundings, influenced by other people and the cultures in which we’re born.
Likewise; merging and converging cultures, or “transculturation”, has unavoidable effects on all aspects of life for us. As with each human, cultures influence and change other cultures as well. Through the technological advances influencing today’s trade, exploration/tourism, migration, and even war, cultures change via appropriation of the attributes of other cultures.
From food to dress; from religion to politics, cultures have and will continue to impact others.
This phenomenon is not without conflict, however, and those vociferously opposing the idea of blending cultures, desiring to remain isolated, fail to realize that all modern cultures are, and will continue to be, representative of almost every other culture on the planet.
And this fact creates opportunity for two very distinct choices; hegemony and harmony.
The convergence of cultures screams opportunities in education, personal growth, and expansion of one’s understanding of the world; in short, wisdom. And, in todays world, it also screams necessity for change, for acceptance of and growth within this challenge, much in the same manner as biological evolution, will ensure survival of the culturally fit.
Regardless of personal preferences, converging cultures WILL evolve and survive. It is inevitable, for one cultural identity simply cannot exist in a global society of many cultures, and we are now, much to the dismay of some, a global community.
The technological advances shrinking Planet Earth have ensured inevitable changes, and they will continue to drive cultural evolution, leaving behind those who cannot, or will not, evolve.
And what of those who are themselves products of the very enculturation of generations before them, yet, in their own hegemonic bigotry, intolerance, and xenophobia, choose to ignore this evolutionary fact?
Like the prima donna dinosaurs they are, they will be left to decay, leaving behind nothing but fossils for a culturally advanced civilization to marvel upon.
Insert Trump comments below.