Sunday, September 6, 2009

Global Awareness

From tiny little Cuthbert, population 3700, to the Earth, population 6 billion [6,000,000,000], we are all people. Heavenly Father loves all of us, even though some of us call Him by different names, or believe in someone else, or don't believe. We are many colors, religions, cultures, have different standards. I believe most of us are good.

 Since I am a writer, I try to think beyond my tiny circle. What do people want to read? What do I want to write? How can I, with my tiny voice, do some good in the world?

 I certainly can't influence ALL 6 billion of us. If I were British, I would say, 6 million, and mean the same number of people. If I were from Germany, I would refer to men as Menchen and the whole world as "den ganzen Welt". If I spoke Irish Gaelic, most of the world would say, huh? A person from China can't pronounce the English word, "string". He or she would try to pronounce it "setering" unless exposed to English consonant combinations from an early age. We in the US take so many things for granted. We think everyone visits a fast food restaurant often, though there are certainly a good number of vegetarians in the US who would never, never eat hamburgers! We think everyone thinks as we do. We are often surprised when people in Third World countries are portrayed as happy and well-fed, because the news is full of images of the starving and unhappy [though there is great suffering in many places]. People can be happy without tech, and without our help. We are often shocked to find that in the Middle East, insects are sometimes served and enjoyed. If most Americans knew that Chinese restaurants are often equipped with a menu for Chinese customers that is very different from what we call "Chinese food", would they feel that it is as good? Nearly every ethnic restaurant has customers who want what they tasted at home, not the American version of it.

 So, how does a writer please 6 billion people? She doesn't. She picks her niche, and writes what she wants to write, because that's where her best writing is. The reader can tell if you are excited about your subject, or if you're just writing that kind of thing because you think it will sell. Honesty is the best policy. Nobody can live a lie.

 But, if you consider that there are world cultures radically different from your own, you can make minor little changes.
I used to use a huge thesaurus when writing. English has about a quarter of a million words. See
But, there is much argument as to how many words other languages have, to compare. No one seems to agree on the definitions of "vocabulary" or what counts as a separate word! Try a Google search, and you will see what I mean.
Now, I limit the idioms and words that I don't commonly use. In other words, I write more simply. That's why I claim that my work is good reading for non-English speakers. I hope to get my books translated into other languages [any volunteers?].

 A famous author I know said she gets most of her royalties from overseas sales. She believes it is because she limits profanity and sex. You would think, from Hollywood and the best selling book lists, that we in the USA are obsessed with foul language and sex! Not to mention extreme violence! Many parents and folks who live in small towns are sick of this. Many singles aren't really thinking about what is in what they read until they have children of their own.

 Case in point: I used to drive 5 mph above the speed limit, until my five-year old daughter learned to read my speedometer. It's amazing how fast I changed that habit to driving exactly the speed limit! Then, I read about a study that said teens pick up the bad habits of their parents behind the wheel. Nothing will motivate you to change like those innocent brown eyes watching you as you do something you know is NOT a good example!

 I was surprised to read a book titled "The Family Bed". In most of the world, families can't afford houses with separate rooms, so some share the bed. Children are shooed out when parents want to get intimate, and welcomed back when they want to sleep. These loving parents aren't perverts abusing their children, they are simply more physical than we in the US are, because they grew up sleeping in a small space. People from other countries have different concepts of personal space. We Americans want a lot of space between us and the person with whom we're talking, about 18 inches. Most will get closer, and we feel uncomfortable. European men kiss each other, they hug, and nobody thinks they're gay! Read Leo Busgalia, and he talks about that. American men are scared even to face each other in conversation. Go watch some men talking. Women tend to face each other, and they'll touch a shoulder or a wrist occasionally. Men stand side-by-side. If they touch, they'll shove each other or give a back slap. You rarely see an American man hug another, unless someone died, or it's a father whose son's been gone a long time. I think it's terrible. Men have feelings just like women do, and they should be able to express their feelings. Most women I know want to find a man who will talk about their feelings. Most men I've met would rather talk about something else! If I cry, I'm seen as manipulative, by men, and by some women. Let me tell you, if I cry, I've just been through something horrible, and believe me, I'm embarrassed to be seen crying! But, that's not the way I feel it should be. All someone wants, who cries, is for someone to quit giving advice or criticism, and just listen.

 There are certain generalities about the human race. Our emotions are shared. We hurt, physically or emotionally, or even spiritually. We laugh. We feel joy! We look almost the same, but we can enjoy the differences. We are all protective of our children. We all get hungry and thirsty. We all want to provide for our families. Most of us want to be friends. People don't make wars. Governments do.

 Do your bit for world peace! Try to understand someone's culture who is different from you. There are many sources on the Internet to help you gain a bit of global understanding, and some regional understanding.

Posted via email from Adia's Posterous From DanniStories

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