Saturday, July 23, 2016

Not All Cultures are Mature

Once upon a time in my life.....I was naive and had this honest belief that all people.....from all cultures....were at the same maturity and understanding point as myself.  You can call it honest respect or just humble stupidity.....but I started out that way.

By my mid-twenties.....the Air Force had decided to send me to Panama.  It took about a year for me to reach a stage where I could judge people correctly.....and determine that a fair number of Panamanians were not at the same level of civilization as myself.  Between corruption, incompetence, greed, and maturity.....there were simply an extraordinary number of Panamanians who just weren't at the same level.

As I've traveled around the globe over the past forty years.....I've come to agree more and more....there are certain societies and cultures which are lagging....maybe just one generation.....maybe five or six generations.

One of the odd features of living in Germany is that you come to some conclusion after a while that most intellectual Germans try awful hard to convince everyone of some connection to all societies in the world, and we can all live together in peace and harmony.  Typically, this works until the German intellectual ends up in Honduras or some pretender African republic, where they hit harsh reality and retreat quickly back to safe valley's of the Rhine.

As you look at immigration efforts in Germany....the various problems (pool groping, integration, marginal job skills, etc) come to three basic observations.

First, there are some immigrants who've arrived and doing everything possible to fit in and integrate.  These are the people who appreciate their new land and deserve whatever help they are being given.  Germans like to tell these stories and share it via the news about success stories.

Second, there are those immigrants who are a generation or two behind.  They are living at best....sixty years or more.....behind the culture and dynamics wheel of Germany.  The pace of things....the openness....the bold dress and appearance of Germans....the provocative nature of Germans....TV, music and the internet?   It's all a harsh new world and they barely can fit into it.  This is a mixed crowd, where some of these people will hang on and survive this period of introduction....cruising along at a slow speed but making it.  Some of these people won't be able to hang on, and they won't make it.

Third, these are the folks who are locked in a society that is more than two generations behind Germany.  These are people with various intentions who arrived and are charmed to some degree with the new land, but on a maturity level....aren't ever going to fit into German society.  Even with all the good intentions of the "do-gooders", the intellectuals, and warm-hearted won't be enough to drag these folks onto the same level field of play.

It's almost like a soccer game where some national team is directed to play some village in Tonga, and you try awful hard to keep the marginal team up and looking good while they are losing at every corner of the game.

Admit defeat?  I don't think this German crowd really wants to stand there and say....'yeah, we screwed up'.  Nor do they want to admit there are several levels of maturity and you have to sort people out into different groups.

Eventually, down the road in a year or two.....some Germans will stand up and ask about this maturity thing.  Maybe journalists will stand up and talk about it.....or maybe they will just say it's a non-existent topic and just skip the question.

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