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Our Passion for Passion

“Passion” as a word has migrated at some point from its original simple meaning of “suffering” to generally describe a deep desire for someone or something, a suffering with desire. Like most words that get used a lot, this mutated further into “passion lite”—a passion is something one likes to be engaged in, more often a delight rather than a longing and a suffering.   Mel Gibson’s film Passion, is a return to the story that made this word a key to Western culture. The Passion, i.e., the suffering and execution of Jesus of Nazareth, has set an indelible stamp on world history whether we are followers of the Nazarene or not. It is not “passion lite” or “violence lite.”...

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From dressing up a child to building up a strong person

Original Source: Author: Dr. Phuong Mai Nguyen   Don't you think like I do? "Great pic, flying in the face of stereotypes: A little girl in blue, unisex clothes, and (gasp) aliens print of some sort. Who needs princess and fairies?" A few days ago, Facebook CEO’s daughter turned one. I couldn't help but notice a consistent message from Mark and Priscilla. Baby Maxima often wears blue (stereotypically a boy’s color), unisex style, without gender abiding prints - aliens, in this picture. When Maxima was born, she was photographed with the book “Quantum Physics for Babies.” We are all influenced by subconscious stereotypes, and in turn, project them onto our children. How often do we buy dolls, cooking and nursing...

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Stereotypes – our best friends, our worst enemies

In the panic for security now gripping the USA as well as other nations, typing and profiling others has become as commonplace as it is noxious.  Stereotypes are both our best friends and our worst enemies. Stereotypes could be compared to the active library of your inner iTunes playing one track after another. This applies to everything you are experiencing in life, though we tend to think of stereotypes as automatic, knee-jerk judgments about people when we use the word. For example, I see heavy black clouds and my stereotype says “rain” and I go for my umbrella or raincoat before leaving the house. Or I see a group of rowdy looking teenagers on the sidewalk coming my way and I am prompted to...

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UNSPOKEN CONVERSATIONS: Exploring dynamics of culture in hidden bias

People talk to themselves all the time. They carry on a constant inner conversation while listening to the radio, watching television or reading the paper or online. We don’t know what they say to themselves about the messages we give them. If we were talking directly to them, we could ask questions and listen “actively” to their responses. Through the media, however, we rarely know who they are personally, to say nothing of knowing what goes through their minds as they take in what me send. So, we guess. We try to construct a message that will reach them. We weigh words and images to avoid “red flags” and “red herrings.” We want them to track in the direction we...

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Politica – Naked US culture(s)

As one of the authors of the Cultural Detective USA®, I have been watching the current presidential election campaign with interest, fear, and trepidation, concerned not just about the outcome, but about how what we see happening reflects culture(s) in the USA and how that will affect my understanding of it and my presentation of it as a consultant and trainer who frequently readies others around the globe for collaboration with US Americans or for expatriation to the States. As a citizen stakeholder, it is difficult to step back, observe and document the cultural dynamics without strong feelings trying to sway the way. One could pick up any number of models in our intercultural professional toolbox and attempt an analysis...

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