Weekly Yes Quote
“We have to continue to learn. We have to be open. And we have to be ready to release our knowledge in order to come to a higher understanding of reality.”Thich Nhat Hanh
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Hello beautiful readers! It’s been too long since my last blog post concerning sharing the love to those who matter to you (8 February 2021 – Share the Love). I didn’t realize how upset I would get while writing that post, and I needed to take a break to breathe and reset my intentions.
Good news: intentions have been set and this lovely Monday morning’s blog post is live and ready for the reading.
I’m switching gears this week to focus on culture, and, more specifically, on cultural growth.
I work in a bilingual setting when I’m away from the blog, and I’m sure many of you have experienced situations where English isn’t the primary language spoken.
Whether that be when you traveled abroad to a foreign country, invited foreigners into your home to stay for holiday, tested the waters by moving to another country, or maybe you’re from another country and have chosen to settle in a place that primarily speaks English.
Whatever the circumstances may be or have been – do you remember how uncomfortable you were being away from your safe place wherein you were just like everyone else (at least the language aspect)?
I have felt extreme discomfort traveling abroad, and though I give a solid effort towards assimilating, I know I stick out like a soar thumb.
My French, German, and Dutch are awful, and any country East of Europe is so foreign to me that I would require a translator or guide to ensure I have a cultural experience wherein I can ensure cultural sensitivity while having a fabulous time.
I took Spanish throughout elementary and high school, and though I am super rusty thanks to a lull while in college and the early years of my professional life, I’ve started to get back on the cultural band wagon to fortify my Spanish language skills.
It’s especially important to me because I live in San Diego, which borders with our Mexican neighbors. Some people at my office, though they speak decent English, speak primarily Spanish.
I want to be able to communicate effectively with everyone in the office, which means my Spanish needs to improve. Also, I love Spain and Mexico, and improving my Spanish fluency will only benefit when I’m able to travel abroad again.
To work on my Spanish language skills I’ve been using Babbel.
And I must say, I enjoy learning with Babbel where I can choose why I want to learn Spanish rather than go through the motions of learning the numbers all over again… which has been the case with Rosetta Stone.
But enough about the Babbel platform, which I recommend you try if you’ve been considering learning a new language or simply need a solid refresher course.
This past week I had a coworker assist me with translating a presentation about 5S from English to Spanish, which will be used as part of our company-wide training program. Then, I recorded both presentations and narrated them separately in English and in Spanish.
Though I’m a go getter and love a good challenge, that does not mean I’m comfortable when I step outside of my cute little box…
If you want to grow you have to step outside of your comfort zone, and if you want to grow culturally you have to be able to get even more uncomfortable.
I’m proud of myself for practicing my Spanish language skills to further my career, myself as a person in this beautifully diverse world, and assisting my coworkers with their journeys towards a more successful and wholesome career.
I’m proud of myself for stepping outside of my happy little space that makes me feel secure to a space that is much less secure and vulnerable.
Cultural growth is so important as we work to bring this world closer together. We need to better our understanding of each other so that we can thrive together.
Each of us serves a unique and important purpose in this world.
We each have something magnificent to contribute that only we can offer.
And the best way to ensure that everyone gets a seat at the table is by ensuring that we grow culturally to further understand each other.
Challenge yourself to step outside of your comfort zone to embrace cultural growth.
Challenge yourself to take action to increase your knowledge and awareness of others in your community and workplace.
Challenge yourself to learn something new about someone who is different from yourself – even if all you do is a quick Google search about a culture you’ve been interested in.
This challenge is simpler than it may seem. I’m not suggesting you sign up with Babbel to learn Japanese today – although if this was the sign you needed I thoroughly support your next steps towards learning Japanese.
Instead, I’m suggesting you be more aware of other cultures around you in your daily life, hop on Google or your favorite search engine and learn more about another country’s customs, call a relative to inquire about your family’s cultural history, check out Pinterest for a foreign food recipe you’ve never made before…
There are many ways to challenge yourself to grow culturally, and I know you’ll seek one or more of them out to further your growth as a person.
Reminder to Just Say Yes!
As always, say yes to experiences that present themselves to you, which will enrich and further your life! Life is full of fun and wonder – don’t be stuck at home wondering what life could be like, should be like, would be like… drop that nonsense! Get out there, say yes, and never look back!
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I’d love it if you shared some of the ways this week’s quote has made you feel, and how you’re going to grow culturally this week and for the many weeks to come!
We each have a unique journey, and I would love to share in yours.