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Appreciating New Perspectives


Appreciating New Perspectives

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Steve Jones
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Appreciating New Perspectives

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IowaDave
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Great post Steve. You - and your family - are very brave. From some of the hustle-and-bustle and TRAFFIC I've seen in India, I don't know that I'd be as brave to just "go live there" w00t, but you're right - that's the best way to experience a culture and learn about/from them.

You are also right that we all approach things differently and having that open mindset can be a valuable tool for approaching any situation.
corey lawson
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Don't even have to go to India to try and experience this. If you live in an urban or suburban environment, it's interesting if you can somehow experience living in a rural area for awhile. It'd be equally the same in reverse. And so on...
It's interesting when one's romantic ideals of someone else's lifestyles get exploded when experiencing the reality of those ideals...
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Nice post Steve. Aggree all cultures have something good that can be adopted, sometimes a very small thing changes the perspective. This is great to build a cohesive team, especially when the world is getting smaller, teams are located at multiple places....
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Hi Steve,

Great editorial and, from the sound of it, a great experience for you and your family. I've experienced different cultures. Like it did for you, the experience has always impacted my perspective. Thanks for sharing!

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Andy Leonard
Data Philosopher, Enterprise Data & Analytics
RonKyle
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Having lived abroad for 1/3 of my childhood (England) and almost 1/3 of my adult life (Germany and South Korea) I find that the time in other countries gives you a great perspective on what is both good and bad in your own culture. It is hard to be away sometimes, but I wouldn't trade those experiences for anything. My one tip for anyone traveling abroad: if traveling to a non-English speaking country, if you learn nothing else in that native language, at least learn to ask if someone can speak English. It's just one sentence, and it goes a long way.



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RonKyle - Thursday, August 31, 2017 1:29 PM
Having lived abroad for 1/3 of my childhood (England) and almost 1/3 of my adult life (Germany and South Korea) I find that the time in other countries gives you a great perspective on what is both good and bad in your own culture. It is hard to be away sometimes, but I wouldn't trade those experiences for anything. My one tip for anyone traveling abroad: if traveling to a non-English speaking country, if you learn nothing else in that native language, at least learn to ask if someone can speak English. It's just one sentence, and it goes a long way.

Years back I worked on a project in Japan. People would go out of their way to practice their English on an actual English speaker. Once in a rural railway station a group of young school boys approached me (en masse) and the boldest one said 'hello..' Then they all got shy and took off.

But the experience was great. I began to realize, though it was popular here to rebel against formality, deep tradition has a beauty as well.


...

-- FORTRAN manual for Xerox Computers --
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People would go out of their way to practice their English on an actual English speaker.


I had similar experiences in Germany. Having learned German for nine years in school, however, at first I told them that there were many Americans that would be glad to speak with them in English. For me, however, this was my chance to speak German, and didn't want to pass it up. Once I'd been there a while I was more open to speaking English with Germans. But I always enjoyed my weekends traveling when I could get away from the English language for a few days.




skeleton567
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These are some very good observations. I have travelled Europe from France to Romania and Ukraine, and learned many of these same things on those trips. Especially rewarding was when we visited young developers and technical folks from those eastern European countries who were working for my wife's graphic design and web development company. And before you go batshit on me, I'll explain that we paid there foreign developers and designers the same wage levels as we paid designers and developers in this country. My wife even took personal loans to help these young people purchase living quarters and get their start in life. We were privileged to visit these young folks in cities that still feature many things established by the invading communist and socialist countries and to experience the life that still bears the wounds and scars of those philosophies. We rode on highways which had many overpasses but few of which had ever been completed so they could be used, we stayed in lavish hotels that soviet dignitaries had built and used near lavish government buildings in the midst of mile after mile of crude, plain apartment buildings the local people lived in. We saw government officials driving their luxurious limousines around town, and actually parking on public city sidewalks when there was no parking space on streets, making the pedestrian traffic crowd around them.

I just wish that the young 'snowflakes' of today in this magnificent country could see and experience the social, economic and physical desolation that those failed social and political philosophies left behind. If they did, we would see far fewer demonstrations and protests against our own society.

So, get over obsessing and bellowing over Melania's stiletto heels. Next time you think you can stand a dose of reality take yourself on a trip to Eastern Europe and get your head set straight.

My advice to these naïve people is 'Be careful what you ask for. You just might get it.'

Next time you see a person in our armed forces, thank them from the bottom of your heart for their service. And contract your governmental representatives and tell them to get their act together or get out.

Now I expect there will be some blowback from those who have no clue about the things I have described. Just be careful not to display too much ignorance.
DavidL
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skeleton567 - Thursday, August 31, 2017 2:28 PM
These are some very good observations. I have travelled Europe from France to Romania and Ukraine, and learned many of these same things on those trips. Especially rewarding was when we visited young developers and technical folks from those eastern European countries who were working for my wife's graphic design and web development company. And before you go batshit on me, I'll explain that we paid there foreign developers and designers the same wage levels as we paid designers and developers in this country. My wife even took personal loans to help these young people purchase living quarters and get their start in life. We were privileged to visit these young folks in cities that still feature many things established by the invading communist and socialist countries and to experience the life that still bears the wounds and scars of those philosophies. We rode on highways which had many overpasses but few of which had ever been completed so they could be used, we stayed in lavish hotels that soviet dignitaries had built and used near lavish government buildings in the midst of mile after mile of crude, plain apartment buildings the local people lived in. We saw government officials driving their luxurious limousines around town, and actually parking on public city sidewalks when there was no parking space on streets, making the pedestrian traffic crowd around them.

I just wish that the young 'snowflakes' of today in this magnificent country could see and experience the social, economic and physical desolation that those failed social and political philosophies left behind. If they did, we would see far fewer demonstrations and protests against our own society.

So, get over obsessing and bellowing over Melania's stiletto heels. Next time you think you can stand a dose of reality take yourself on a trip to Eastern Europe and get your head set straight.

My advice to these naïve people is 'Be careful what you ask for. You just might get it.'

Next time you see a person in our armed forces, thank them from the bottom of your heart for their service. And contract your governmental representatives and tell them to get their act together or get out.

Now I expect there will be some blowback from those who have no clue about the things I have described. Just be careful not to display too much ignorance.

I spent decades overseas, mostly Japan but also Germany and a little of the UK, and traveled extensively in many formerly communist countries. I concur with much of what has been said so far. One way those experiences changed me, however, is a bit more balanced view of my own country (U.S.) and its values. I came to recognize that as much as the economies of the former East Bloc were a mess, there were many aspects of their societies that were in fact far healthier than my own. Two examples that come to mind are seeing education as a humanistic rather than an economic value (that is, education is good for people as people, not simply because they will learn an employable skill); and widespread valuation and support for arts and culture. I also found that people tended to have closer and more abundant friendships than I or most anyone else I knew in the U.S., and when I left I really missed that. It was refreshing to be able to re-evaluate all the things I thought I knew when presented with a 'more complete dataset' than I had been working with. Smile




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