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Bernadette Jiwa’s Blog: On Culture – The Doorway

Bernadette Jiwa’s Blog: On Culture

I have received The Story of Telling (Bernadette Jiwa) emails from Australia for years now and am consistently inspired by the simplicity of the wisdom that energizes thought and reflection. The excerpt below is over the top in capturing in simple language what and how we navigate and function in our humanity.

“Culture is how we act, based on what we know about who we are.

It isn’t about fitting in, it’s about understanding where we belong and why.

Culture is a reminder that if we believe this, then we do or don’t do, that.

It’s about saying this is who we are, then living up to that ideal.

The leader’s job isn’t to tell us what to do.

It’s to remind us who we are, so we can live that story.”  Bernadette Jiwa’s Blog : On Culture

The last two lines explain what young people have taught us they need from us as the adults in society…


Culture is the essence of our shared humanity.

Culture is communicated one person to one person.

The process is not strategized or managed.

It is responsive as persons to each other.

It is trust in the people with whom we share space.

It is knowing we need each other to interpret and understand the world.

We are first and always persons.

We populate the world in relationships.

We nourish our souls in our knowing of the purpose of our existence.

We are here for each other.

Whatever else is going on we notice, accept, reject, hold on, let go.

Solidarity as persons becomes the operative of our lives.


How then has the world become ‘not this’?

Can we see past the disruption of solidarity?

‘What is in this for me?’

And when ‘me’ is my main focus, somehow I can’t see any ‘other’.

Culture is the combination of all of us – millions of personhoods.

Diversity identifies collections of people who share commonality.

Who gets to say one is better than another – or less worthy?

The social organization of people by ‘differences’ has undermined our recognition of our commonalities.

We are still persons – together in shared communities, cities, countries and planet.

We can figure this out one person to one person.

Are we up for it?



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