We all have a dire need to break out of culture. And, I’m not referring to simply ethnic culture. Our first reactions to anything often are carried out by impulses of having been conditioned by our surroundings at any given moment in our lifetime. In those times that we react without giving much thought and time, we cede the situation or circumstance to the imaginary individuals who had influenced us with time and allow them to impress their judgement on such situation or circumstance without the individuals themselves being physically there. In the end, we become the individual to the situation. Many times, we become such individuals involuntarily due to prolonged exposure to their influence and behaviors. Maybe you could call this phenomenon “involuntary or natural learning” which occurs through our senses to the mind without much filtering. These so-called knowledges are not always for our betterment or others’.
What is required of us is that our hearts shortly and briefly pre-live the situation or circumstance for approval before our reactions are appropriated with the time and the purpose that would respectfully benefit all parties involved.
It hurts very much when what you say is culturally accepted but is very detrimental to the human psyche. The culture can be, again, ethnic, academic, community, and self-determined. The problem with culture may be that it’s very inclined at imposing beliefs rather than making a proposal that invites research and clear understanding. It can cause eagerness for control to those under the influence, and shame for not being in control to those who are being victimized or harmed as a result.
Harm, even when culturally accepted, remains harm. Saying “I’m ok”, or trying ignore what was said or shown or felt is not an indication that it wasn’t registered. These unaddressed feelings do not always make us a better person as we often claim. Instead, we may become but an explosive device that’s being fed tiny little adjustments time after time to one day go off.
If I had an encounter with a particular person, and that I was to share it here, it’s probable that one person would be interested in the location of the encounter, another would be interested in the gender, another would be interested in the ethnicity, another would be interested in the maturity or age, and so on. Now, regardless if my account is true or not, we would involuntarily register it as true. We may even feel harmed by the personal or regional details of the account even when the objective of my sharing of the account was not to cause harm but simply reveal a fact. What is most detrimental may or may not be the objective itself but the associated details of the account. And the harm caused may not always be associated with a particular person but a situation. And having been preconditioned by the various accounts however they came to us and even in dreams or imaginations, we may involuntarily react or respond in the context of the harmful experiences that we’ve felt rather than the ones that do not cause us resentments.
At the end of the day, what is it that we do involuntarily as conditioned by harmful feelings that we need to keep an eye on so that our impulses are controlled by our hearts and not by the neverending insufficiency of knowledge that our minds often experience?
Breaking out of culture is the work of grace on mankind. It is the resonating confirmation of Christ saying, “Neither do I condemn you”. It’s what follows the agenda that was once revealed as, “God did not send his Son in the world to condemn the world but to save the world.” And we need quite a bit of saving from harms we have felt and registered so that we do not go on imprinting those harms onto those we love and those we are to love.