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Thread: the rules apply except for me

  1. #11
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    I live in a fairly Scandanavian area up in Northern Michigan, and social cooperation is stressed pretty
    Funny but what made me think of this topic was the book I just finished about life in Denmark and how mutually agreeable citizens are there for the good of the all. It seems like in America we always stress the rights of the individual and therefore many do what they please. Some examples I have seen recently are small but irritating things - complete disregard of traffic speed limits or signs, letting dogs run free in the park in areas that are not leash-free, feeding ducks when the sign says don't do it, ...

  2. #12
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tybee View Post
    I don't really see this where I live, but then I live in a fairly Scandanavian area up in Northern Michigan, and social cooperation is stressed pretty heavily!
    Where you are, it is just as likely that your shared culture leads to peaceful interactions. Everyone knows The Rules and accepts The Rules as valid.

    Here in my diverse city, different cultures coexist and not all vLue the same things. For instance yesterday, a gorgeous cool summer day, I was weeding my garden when two women across the street decided to have a screaming match. These women, their paramours, their children, and their friends and relativeso lead their life on the street. Two weeks ago they got into it also and a crowd gathered, the screaming went on for half an hour, and finally cops came. Eight cop cars pulled up and settled them down.

    Middle class people have their shouting matches behind closed doors,and if oursiders can hear even then, they probably doing their fighting in a whisper.

    It is accepted in ghetto culture that the street belongs to you, "you" being the person there, on the street. Low level civil disobedience is part of ghetto culture. Actions such as jaywalking (causing cars to stop,p for the pedesteian) and driving a car in the middle of the street, then stopping to let out a passenger/talk to someone on the sidewalk, are common.

    These are not The Rules of behavior of the dominant culture, so these actions appear to be self centered. I think they are! But it is also valid to look at these actions as the mindset of a different culture.

  3. #13
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    This makes me think of the mindset of people with regards to petty theft. Obviously most people don't shoplift or steal cars, but I think the whole entitlement mindset bleeds into behavior that deems petty theft totally acceptable. The whole pilferage of office supplies is one example. Then there's my mother-in-law, whom I dearly loved, but who drove me CRAZY when she would snack on produce in the supermarket while she was shopping. One time it was $7.00/lb olives in a tony Princeton gourmet shop. I was so embarrassed. But she didn't feel she was doing anything wrong. She would "sample" all kinds of things without a thought.

    Or, getting the incorrect change in your favor, and keeping it because "if the clerk is so stupid they don't know how to count, that's not my problem."

    A lot of times people steal without recognizing it as stealing. That's another form of not playing by the rules
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  4. #14
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Funny but DH tried to tell someone that they had over-refunded him some change; the individual declined to accept the offered money as "I do not make mistakes". He was surprised at first and then agreed, "You're right, you don't make mistakes" keeping the extra bills. The clerk definitely made the mistake and DH kept about $50 extra, if I remember it correctly. People are funny in so many ways.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  5. #15
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    Shared culture is something the book about Danes said contributes to their contentment there. If most people are like each other in thought and belief, then the level of trust among them is more secure. Makes me wonder about all our efforts to be as diverse as possible since obviously every culture has their own way of being.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Simplemind's Avatar
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    I think I need to move to Denmark for awhile..............

  7. #17
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    Yes, the book about Denmark was eye-opening. They do pay a hefty amount of tax but do not have to worry about childcare, higher education costs, inequality, healthcare, growing old or sick. Those needs are met and provide a great deal of comfort.

  8. #18
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    I had not thought of this as cultural, but now your posts have me thinking. For example, I find Buddhists to be mellow and agreeable folk, but one of my coworkers lives across the street from some and complained about their loud chanting and poor driving skills. Different and up close is not the same as diverse at a greater distance.

  9. #19
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    So now multiculturalism is a bad thing?

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