In setting up a web-presence for your company via social media, there’s an obvious time money continuum: Either you’ll spend oodles of time creating profiles, links, etc. at low or no cost to you, or you can save time and pay someone else to do it. Basically, when one goes up, the other goes down.
I’ve noticed the same continuum between Familiarity/Assumptions as relates to Intercultural Communications, (particularly after a comment on a post a few weeks ago about Indian Model/Actress Padma Lakshmi eating a hamburger in a Hardee’s TV ad, pointing out that I had included an unintentional assumption that all Hindus are the same.)
The first rung on my empathy barometer is to change the race/ethinicity/religion in question to Jewish (my own heritage) in the ‘story’ to see how it would feel to me. The parallel image that came to mind was that of an an Hasidic Jew eating ribs.
While I could see something like that intended as humor on the cover of the irreverent and funny Heeb Magazine (sort of the Jewish version of MAD Magazine), I also realized, as a Reformed Jew (as in the Reform Movement of Judaism, not that I was bad and now I’m nice), I’m the first to want to clarify distinctions with more traditional (aka Orthadox) expressions of Judaism. In fact, I was the one who, as part of an interfaith family, couldn’t host the Synagogue’s Parents Club Meeting at our house in December, because we would still have our Christmas Tree up!
I understand that individuals relate to their Judaism, Catholicism, Christianity, etc., differently, because I know the basic tenets of those religions as a point of departure, and know people of those religions to see their own self-reflection. With Hindu, my familiarity barometer was low, allowing assumption to fill the void.
Ahhh…gotta love the old adage about you, me and assume. But even more so, you have to love our ability to continually learn and grow throughout our lives. Every day and every encounter is a chance for new dialogue.
Photo from post on Hindu-Jewish Collaboration from the blog “Portal to the Hindu World.”
Thanks to Gori Girl for starting my thoughts brewing on this subject.