Sunday, October 09, 2011

The Man Who Had Everything

Source: "Something You Forgot... Along the Way"

Here's an excerpt from the 'chapter', something interesting to ponder over...
In a tropical country, someone scolded a native who spend all his time napping under a palm tree.
"Stop being so lazy!" he lectured him sternly. "Why don't you get a job and make yourself some money?"
"What would I do with money?"
"Save it in the bank and before you know it, you'll have a big pile."
"What would I do with a pile of money?"
"Build a fine house for yourself. Then if you made more money, you could have a villa."
"What would I do with a villa?"
"You could go out in the garden and nap under a palm tree."
"I alreay am napping under a palm tree."

Does this really work in real life?
Definitely, if one reads without the context, one would totally agree with the response given by the native when everything's back to square one, or "Displacement = 0" after all the effort and resources are pumped into the progress.

Indeed, when I look back, it's similar to something I encountered when I first arrived in Bhutan. Some of the operational processes simply did not make sense to me. However, after a while, I came to understand that the context is important, the culture and many other factors come in play. All these shape the mindset of the locals (in the above story, the natives). Of course, on the other hand, the locals would also find it amazing why the 'foreigners' think in a different manner and many "why"s in their heads! That's where we tried to strive for cross cultural understanding.

In fact, cross cultural understanding does not just refer to knowing others' culture, history, environment, but also the deeper aspects of mindsets, the way the history, culture have shaped the way people think and behave. And of course, how do we, after knowing and understanding these, respond and manage these differences.

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