Sometimes you can’t help but eavesdrop when you’re in the same confined space with others and the topic happens to be a trigger one like culture. Enjoy!
29 December 2021 Elijah’s Expressions.
Today I happened to eavesdrop on a conversation. I can’t help but eavesdrop because of the limited space that is available to people around me.
Well, there were these two guys, probably from China. They were speaking in English, both of them, probably with a very American accent, and they were talking about a phenomenon that they had observed.
Two things. Number one, when young people go to the cinema, they just, or in fact they don’t even go to the cinema, I beg your pardon, but they call up videos, and instead of watching the movie and appreciating the movie as a work of art, a creation, something that carries a message, something that is well done in terms of the cinematography, the directorship and so on, you know, the skills of the cameraman, the sound people, the angles and whatnot and how the storyline unfolds and what’s the essential message of that film, and they said that they have observed that young people actually just get to the film online and instead of watching the whole movie, they concentrate on portions of the movie. They said, for example, like, you know, this is a war film, for example, and the hero emerges from a foxhole after all the artillery bombardment and so on and starts shooting here and there and they say that his uniform is still crisp and clean, something like what people commented on that old TV series “Combat”, you know, where uniforms are always clean, the faces are never dirty, things like that. So, you know, instead of appreciating the movie and getting a message and thinking about it, they look for things like that, and and it’s not just for war movies, it’s for any movie, whether it involves romance, whether it involves drama in real life or whatever, there is always something to comment upon. So a movie that’s about two and a half hours is finished in less than ten minutes, and all they have done is gone to scenes and say “Oh, I know what the storyline is. I know who got killed and I know who escaped alive and that’s it. They’re not interested in anything else and these two guys were saying “What is going on? Why have young people decided to to adopt this kind of culture?” Of course we know what the answer is!
The next thing that they were commenting about was how in China, young people book a table at a restaurant, a table for two people, three people or maybe one person, and about ten or twenty of them gather at this table. I mean, the waiter and so on is still putting the food out, and one by one, or in twos and threes, they sit at the table, they take selfies, they post it on Instagram and they say, “Hey I’m eating at this extremely high class restaurant, very expensive restaurant” and they take turns by twos or threes to sit there. Nobody eats any of the food. All of them pay the restaurant for a table for three or four or whatever number it is but none of them eats anything because they have all got to take photos with the food and at the end they just leave and I don’t know who gets to eat the food or they throw the food out or whatever it is. These two guys were asking why on earth do they do that? Do you do you need so much glamour, I mean, what do you believe in, showing people that how accomplished you are, how much money you have? It was just pathetic, really pathetic, really laughable in some sense of the word.
A very wise man long ago, I heard him say this, that culture is the flip side of the coin of religion and if you extrapolate that it is really the flip side of your beliefs. After all, what is religion? It’s what you believe in or who you believe in, and what’s the subculture? The guys were saying this is subculture. What is a subculture? Well, in the thumbnail you notice that Ihave a photo of a pigeon and of course I put in some captions and so on. I would have liked to have taken a picture of a pigeon in a nest sitting on her eggs. That would have been a better picture but I couldn’t find one so this will have to do. Subculture is the same thing. Subculture arises because the people who grow up in a particular culture start to have their own beliefs, start to choose the things that they want to believe in but really they do it as a result of people living the actual culture. Now, you know there was this advertisement by some bank or insurance company, I can’t remember which one, and they were showing clips of people. How people throughout the ages have macerated music, from the classics, and you know, how people used to abuse the goodness of music by having rock and roll and then heavy metal and so on and they show different generations, and the idea of this advertisement is music has been with us all the while. Everyone has messed things up. All right, every generation messes things up, and so who is to blame? Well, you know what I’m gonna say, right? We have ourselves to blame. Why? Because we are free to make choices and in this case we have made the choice whether or not we accept what the culture teaches us or we decide to go off on our own subculture and invent things and when you look back especially at that advertisement right for the banking or the insurance industry you find that grandparents, parents, children, grandchildren, each one actually takes off on their own tangent but fundamentally everyone messes things up. A pretty depressing picture when you think about it, but as I said, we have a choice. We can choose to mangle the culture, we can choose to flow along with what is good, we can choose what we want to believe in and therefore we choose how to live our lives.
In Singapore, my home nation, I‘ve said this a couple of times. We have this crazy thing about grasping for culture. Hawker center culture, which food is Singaporean, and we fight with Malaysians over which food is ours or theirs or whatever it is, and I say, my goodness, you know, is this culture? Shouldn’t it be kindness to one another, shouldn’t it be excellence in the way we do things? One of the things that Singaporeans are known for overseas is that we are very risk averse, we are not innovative enough, and and people buy into that and they try to give talks and so on to try to get Singaporeans to become more innovative. Well, innovation and creativity is actually in every one of us. Why is there a need to try and drum it up? You have to let go and let it be expressed, and the only way you’re going to get good innovation is if you have good culture. It’s just like if you want good fruit to grow you have to pay attention to your roots below. There is no shortcut, there is no other way to it, so look at your culture. I don’t mean the culture around you, but the culture inside of you. Are you happy with it, where do you want to go with this culture, what do you choose to believe in and as a result of your belief live the life, do your work, prosecute your business, you know, advance in your career, invent things, right, create new business, new employments for people, whatever it is that you do but what is your culture and may I suggest to you that our culture is what we believe in and if we really believe in it we move forward, we take hold of it. You have to live out your beliefs otherwise they are not your beliefs. So what’s manifesting? What do people, other people, see in us? What do you hear when you listen to people talking around you?
Think about it! Come and join me on my website. We talk about things like this and how we can change ourselves so that we can improve the culture around us.
If you are interested look me up. The link to my membership page is on the description portion of this video. Have a great day ahead of you!