To be able to communicate and relate to others, you must have a common ground with them. Nelson Mandela once said, “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” This quote defines the understanding of communication through not only language but culture.
To really understand other people’s way of living, we must understand their culture. As Americans, we are exposed to many nationalities and cultures that are very different than ours. In order to be diverse, we must know more than the language others speak. We must speak their culture.
So, if America is diverse, then it must know something about at least one more culture other than its own. From my own experience, being a foreigner in the United States is not an easy task, battling between one culture to another. Growing up away from home, I learned to combine both cultures and understand both. American culture is a wide-spread culture over the world, from well-known brand names to fast food restaurants. Anywhere you go in the world, you will surely see a McDonalds or even a Pizza Hut. But are we indeed diverse?
Diversity is very unique as we learn to listen to voices other than our own. If we know nothing of others, how could we learn by knowing what we always know? Diversity opens our minds to think beyond our understanding and strengthens our communications skills.
More than language
To understand one’s culture, we don’t necessarily have to practice it, but simply be open to it. English is a common language that is taught in most countries. But even if you can communicate through English, you can really impress a big Corporation or any advertising, communicating, or business related field by knowing another language or better yet, understanding another culture.
To truly be at the top of your game, you must know how to communicate to all audiences. Learning the basics are important. Learn the culture’s beliefs and values. Learn more than just where countries are located on the map. We are taught this is geography, but we never really experience what others believe.
Thus, we can value our culture but until we learn about other cultures, we won’t really understand the meaning of diversity.
The United States thrives very much on diversity, because it is home to many immigrants. No one can deny that America is a multi-cultured country. The fusion of such broad cultures makes many immigrants feel comfortable to practice their own, as if at home. But the idea of being diverse really defines the involvement and the knowledge of different cultures. It is the key to being successful.