▶ On Building A Culture of Liberty: via
Definition of CULTURE ~noun \ˈkəl-chə
1: cultivation, tillage
2: the act of developing the intellectual and moral faculties especially by education
3: expert care and training
4 a : enlightenment and excellence of taste acquired by intellectual and aesthetic training b : acquaintance with and taste in fine arts, humanities, and broad aspects of science as distinguished from vocational and technical skills
5 a : the integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations
b : the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group; also : the characteristic features of everyday existence (as diversions or a way of life} shared by people in a place or time
c : the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization
d : the set of values, conventions, or social practices associated with a particular field, activity, or societal characteristic
6: the act or process of cultivating living material (as bacteria or viruses) in prepared nutrient media; also : a product of such cultivation
Origin of CULTURE Middle English, cultivated land, cultivation, from Anglo-French, from Latin cultura, from cultus, past participle ~
First Known Use: 15th century: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/culture
We need to have a good understanding of what culture is in our lives. How much have we been formed, shaped and molded by our cultural environment? Do we have culture or are we mindlessly addicted to TV or indulge in self-destructive life styles. Where do our own cultural behavior patterns come from? How much of the way we are in the world is a culture influence? How much is our original nature of being?
In our quest for greater truth our questions tend to be more numerous than our answers. Even whether we question or not can be a cultural influence. How many of us have just been told to obey orders without question? Go along to get along. Our opinions about matters will often differ based upon our geographical location upon earth. For example, using legal peaceful methods of struggle may be fine in a culture that allows such lawful expressions, while in another culture they can be met with violent state repression.
We need to clearly understand the cultural environment we are in on a day-to-day basis without prejudice. If we have been raised in a sick, racist and inhumane dog-eat-dog society then what is ‘normal’ will be different from what is ‘normal’ in a good humane healthy society. The dominant behavior patterns of the general population in a society will greatly influence how we behave within it. How many of us are quiet when someone in a group spouts a racist term because it is the group norm? How many times do we just try to fit in and go with the herd without question?
I advocate Global Liberation in what ways I can and also see the need for working on my own Spiritual Liberation on an individual level. I try to be conscious in life and stay aware of influences on my psyche in the cultural environment. What is normal in one situation could be abnormal in another. Is being abnormal the new norm?
What we need in the world is more than only a Global Liberation Movement. We need to create, develop and enrich a positive progressive culture that promotes a true culture of liberty for us in the creative arts, in literature, music and dance. The process of liberty begins with recognizing each of us as a creative unique being. In the same process we need to develop a sense of community or tribe among people who share our general interests.
We need to promote a computer literate culture that reads, types and creates work of art and literature. The Internet and communication devices are equalizers that can help raise consciousness, facilitate coordination and bridge distances.
Our cultural patterns of living come from what we do with our free time, attention and energy. Our daily work we engage in to survive in life is a strong behavior pattern that reflects our cultural life, but what do we do for recreation. At what point does work become meaningful play? Who and what defines work?
Cultural patterns are formed by our literary, artistic and musical interests. Each of us can have a specific area of expertise that we are good at and that we can use to help contribute to developing a culture of liberty. Being ‘in the movement’ is not only doing a task or being involved in a movement-related project. Being in liberty is a way of being on a day-to-day basis, what we do with our time, where we focus our attention, the subjects of our conversations and how we handle ourselves in our daily affairs. We can contribute by being involved in a group or political party or movement that promotes liberty.
How do we conduct ourselves in our personal lives? Are we kind to humankind? Are we willing to offer a helping hand when the situation calls for it? Do we volunteer in our local community? Do we share what we have with others in practical ways? Do we act as a free and open liberated being with compassionate love in our personal interactions or are we cold, mean and indifferent to others?
To develop a culture of liberty we need to work on our liberty on a personal level. We need to know who we are deep inside when we are alone, know our inner motivations and examine our personal interests. Being honest with ourselves we need to work on our self-improvement, be aware of any character defects that cripple our relationships and change the culture we are in by changing how we operate in our culture. We need to be good examples for ourselves and for others. Indeed, the best way of telling is by doing.
Take the time to make cultural contributions in your life in what ways that you can. All of us are important and all of us can contribute. You may just consider yourself a drop in the ocean, but the ocean would not be the same without you. Type up an article to share with others online, compose a liberating song with educational lyrics, create a work of art that reflects life, start a creative project, cultivate creative behavior patterns as elements in your own cultural life in order to help others. We actually help ourselves when we help others.
Let us come together and create a culture of liberty that is open, creative and progressive. Let a culture of liberty become the way you live your life on a personal basis and set a good example for others in our cultural environment. Live in liberty! Namaste!
Peter S. Lopez aka @Peta_de_Aztlan