Cultural intelligence

Culture, truth or trivia?

A moment of reflection


Our values and norms are a manifestation of the things we do and have done. They are not directly linked to the truth, but more to being human!  All across the world you will see how the traditions of different cultures are the result of storytelling, passed down through the ages.


All traditions - in one way or another – can track their origins back to a pure source, most often to a real prophet. Someone with the knowledge and inspiration borne from Old Esoteric Wisdom. But through the ages the different (mis)interpretations of these stories means that they evolve into something new; resulting in multiple variations of the same theme. In some countries - men are allowed to marry 4 wives, in other countries this is strictly forbidden. In some countries women are impure during the 2 weeks around their menstration, while in other cultures women are celebrated for their fertility during this time. Some cultures eat with their face very close to their plate, for others this is very impolite to do so. And the examples continue.


As long as we understand that these are only mental constructions we once made out of an (distorted) ideology, we can survive in our own and other countries. As long we understand it is not the absolute truth about how we should behave, we can easily adjust without judgment. At the same time encountering other values and norms make our own convictions more relative and vulnerable. And in our honest and best moments we are also longing to know the ‘value of truth’ behind these cultural expressions. 

The one piece advice to take from this … “Be wise and not disappointed” 


reflections from a wise friend

share print