Cultural Patterns are not the same as social habits. While a social habit is of a "grassroot" nature - means, it is deeply rooted in a society's lifestyle -, a cultural pattern is often enforced by a government or a religious leadership body, and often the people would only be too glad to get rid of it.
Cultural patterns, like social habits, have a life cycle. They are born, live for a while and then die, or in more technical words: they phase in and they phase out. And like social habits, there are good cultural patterns (constructive) and bad cultural patterns (destructive).
Freedom of speech, art and religion
International cooperation (trade, tourism)
Social responsibility (taking care of the sick and handicapped)
...that don't directly harm anybody but reduce the freedom of the individual and are therefore protested by freedom advocates:
Forcing women to keep their heads covered
Forcing people to pray five times a day at fixed times
Keeping women uneducated and at home to take care of household and children
Regulating sexual conduct at government level instead of allowing people to make their individual contracts
Witch burning (already phased out)
Drowning oneself when pregnant outside of marriage (already phased out)
Racism (phasing out slowly but only in educated parts of the world)
Settling disputes between nations with violence (war) instead of diplomacy (talking)
Female genital mutilation (female circumcision), a very persistive and painful tradtion in large parts of Africa
Raping young or even small children based on the superstition that this "protects against AIDS" - phasing in as we are watching, sad but true, in some parts of Africa - although it is probably more a social habit than a cultural pattern
The list could go on, nearly forever... add your own items.
Cultural patterns, as massive as they may look, are really only as massive as the active support of the hundreds, or thousands, or millions of individuals who carry them into the future - plus the passive support of every single individual who allows their existence to continue.
Even the most overwhelming cultural pattern - like the public humiliation and abuse of Jews in Nazi Germany - can be terminated if the individuals who carry it into the future stop carrying it into the future. This works pretty much like a certain concept in software programming.
Enforcing it with violent methods works, although for the building of awareness it does not accomplish a lot: Such patterns tend to form again a few years or decades later, because an actual learning process has not occurred. Often the counter-reaction against the violence makes the situation even worse than it was.
The slower but better way - because it really lasts - is the way through the human mind. The drills on our website teach you the mental skills you need to really do something about cultural patterns that you don't like - not only think about it, which you probably have done for a longe time. Go to the drill section if you want to learn more.
This page last updated on 01.04.2007