Thursday, September 3, 2015

Other Times and Cultures

A popular quote of C.S. Lewis is "It is a good rule after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between.” The reason is that our time and culture has certain blind spots that people at other times in the past did not. If we read an older book, we may see certain truths that are harder to find in books of our modern time.

I don't hear many people talk about how this may also apply to interacting with other cultures. But I feel it's true. Interacting with other cultures is fun in that it helps us learn new things and see beauty in different styles and techniques that are unique to a different culture. But we may also see something in other cultures that is sort of a blind spot in our own.

For example, some cultures are much more quiet and respectful in letting people have space compared to American culture. American culture often is about trying to stand out in the crowd and be louder or more interesting than the next person. So we can learn from this type of culture that we can love others by showing the respect of being quiet at times or allowing that person more space. God wants us to love others well, and we should aim to do this.

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