A recent trend on Twitter has been the question: “What is Twitter angry about today?” This not-a-joke joke emerged as it seemed every day there was some grand, world ending debate going on. We’d be in a huff about everything from standards of equality right through to the superiority of one music genre to another. At the end of the day someone makes an ass out of themselves and the discussion topic disappears for a few days or months. Missed it the first time round? That’s just fine, because you can rest assured that it will rear its ugly head several times in your lifetime. Everyone has to get a piece of the pie right?
All of this has me wondering, are we becoming too sensitive? In my cultural class the professor invited two Muslim women with slightly different beliefs to speak to the class. A common thread in their stories was how some people were often afraid to approach them, and those who did were afraid to offend them by asking them questions.
Isn’t it funny how our attempts to be politically correct are hindering our chances at making friendships and meaningful cultural exchanges? We’re so hung up on our differences that we forget we are all human beings trying to navigate this overly complicated world.
An example brought up in the class discussion was how we’ve moved away from saying Merry Christmas to Happy Holidays because not everyone celebrates Christmas. Our guest speakers mentioned how they would often respond to Happy Holiday wishes by saying Merry Christmas. For them, the focus is not on which holiday is being celebrated but on the wishes of happiness.
At the end of the day, if you look at how different cultures celebrate their holidays, family, friends and food are often at the core. Even if it doesn’t seem like it, we’re more similar than we think we are. Yes, our differences contribute to the beauty of the world but it’s full time we realised our similarities are what connect us to each other.
I hope this is what you needed to hear today. Go out and bridge the culture gap!