A few weeks ago as I ambled along the golden sands of (in my humble opinion) the most beautiful islands in the world, (The Islands of the Bahamas) I stumbled onto a sandcastle. This was not your ordinary, archetypal sandcastle sculpted using the minuscule phalanges of an adolescent boy or girl. This sandcastle’s architecture easily rivaled that of the Windsor Castle in Berkshire England, which served as the official residence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. As I stood and watched as the waves inched closer and closer to the Krptonian fortress of solitude, I could not help but think of the parable of the fool that built his house on sand.
In the parable the wise man build his house on a rock. When the rains and wind came the house stood firm. However, a foolish man built his house on sand. The rains and winds blew and beat against that house and if fell with a great crash.
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:21
How often do we find ourselves caught up directing all our energy towards building up an abundance of treasure that will only rot, be plundered, or left behind once we exit this world? We tend to become so consumed trying to win first prize in this treasure hunt that we get tangled in the tightly spun web of materialism. We want the lavish homes, cars, and designer clothes that serve as status symbols. We should treasure having moral fiber, character, doing good will, and helping those we can. These actions define a legacy that will last long after your days are numbered on the earth.
Don’t build up treasure that will be swept away with the tide once your wave of life goes out!
The term culture can be defined as the integrated pattern of human behavior that includes thought, speech, action, and artifacts and depends upon the human capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations.
My definition of culture is greatly influenced by the place where I grew up. It consists of a culture where the people have a laid back attitude that is as cool as the ocean zephyr that travels from the crystal clear aquamarine waters along the golden sandy beaches. These people demonstrate an immeasurable hospitality and kindness towards others even if they are total strangers. Culture consists of sultry and mouthwatering Sunday afternoon dinners immediately following a church service comprised of peas ‘n’ rice, macaroni, grouper fingers, minced lobster, plantains, and guava duff for desert. Culture entails traditions like “Junkanoo” (if you haven’t seen it in person; you should) a celebration held on New Years and the day after Christmas (Boxing Day). These celebrations combine pulsating music, costumes designed from an explosion of riveting colors, and dance to form a masterpiece that rivals that of Michelangelo’s painting of the 16th chapel or the Mona Lisa. This is just a mere snapshot of the culture of a people proud of their heritage, The Bahamian People.
“The crucial differences which distinguish human societies and human beings are not biological. They are cultural.” -Ruth Benedict
We live in a globalized world. We encounter individuals from different cultures every day of our lives. When given the opportunity immerse yourself in a different culture. Take on sponge-like properties and soak up as much knowledge as you can!
An avid understanding of an individual’s culture can help your cherry tree of life blossom with new relationships!