jusummerhayes

Cultural conditioning

I'm blinkered, often blinded by, the absence of culture.

Instead, and much to my chagrin, I'm suffused amongst the ontology of 20th-century,  be all you be semantics where the best I can say is that it gave me a strong work ethic.

That's not quite accurate. What it gave it me, by dint of my parents, teachers and (of course) the Bosses, was a desperate need to fit in. To (as my parents would so advise — directly or indirectly) keep my nose clean, work hard and live for retirement.

I know, yet again, I exaggerate for effect. 

But it's true.

If the last third of my life is about anything, it's to undo said cultural conditioning and/or stereotyping (...as best I can!) and understand what my true culture might offer me, not in the sense of something to get (i.e. to wear a different set of clothes or change my name) but to grow up.

No, that's not the same as be all you can be. In fact, it's the exact opposite. It's about getting rid of the stuff that weighs me down, working with the skills I've acquired (which are very limited and wouldn't keep me alive) and realise that, as a mortal creature, it will end...at some stage. 

The last bit isn't said for effect. I need to live my death. You might say I've got no choice but the cultural norm (in my limited experience) is to recognise that everyone else is dying but not you — at least not until you reach the very end or you're taken by surprise.

For the record, I won't be charging around, or any such lunacy, but I do want to explore the nether regions of Devon and the locus of my ancestors long since gone. I know it's unlikely that the cultural trail will be particularly warm but then again, as the old saw goes, if you don't try, you'll never know.

What about you?

Do you feel that what lives in your past — the long-forgotten past — may offer a few, nascent clues as to how you might lead a different, richer life?

Take care.

Much love,

— Ju

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