Peace: The Practice of Intercultural Respect, Reconciliation and Solidarity
The concept of Peace has been around longer than one can imagine. And although it can be defined in many ways depending on the perspective and source—whether you are an individual, a government unit, or a mobilized group with a common cause, Peace has ultimately one basic meaning—the absence of hostility or the absence of fear of hostility. Usually it is defined as a state of ‘harmony’ – and this state is emphasized by the lack of violence and the freedom from any sort of violent conflict. Personally speaking, it could be defined as the mending of interpersonal relationships and the easing of personal conflicts— resulting in a healthier and better mental and emotional wellbeing for the individual(s) involved;-- while in terms of economic or social aspects—it could mean a period of prosperity. From a political perspective—it is the absence of war or any kind of disagreement with other nations and governments, the establishment of a successful political structure that works with everyone—serving everyone’s best interests or signals the existence of respectful and positive cultural and economic relationships with other countries. One must consider though that in order for real peace to be established, we must build intercultural respect, reconciliation and solidarity first.
We live in world with billions of people that exhibit different attitudes, beliefs and come from different cultures and backgrounds. Some important statistics to consider are : All countries (187) of the world are culturally diverse. Of this: 110 countries (52% of the world population) have ethnic or religious groups of more than 25 % of the population; and more than 2/3 of all countries have ethnic or religious communities that make up more than 10% of their respective population. Hence one of the most important things necessary is proper Intercultural communication. The foundation for all intercultural communication is respect. Without this aspect, intercultural relations would be impossible. Adjusting and meeting with different cultures is new and oftentimes challenging experience for many people. Meeting and dealing with new personalities can be fun and dynamic but occasionally due to the inability to interpret people correctly it can be a challenge. And if not approached correctly, this may result in a negative outcome. Building an understanding of other people's cultures, their communication styles and behaviors can go a long way in improving relationships and would help in being more successful in an intercultural environment. There are basic communication tips that one can learn, practice and employ to help improve one's intercultural communication skills and this is especially useful to help people working in international or multicultural environments get some basic insight into dealing more effectively with people and not letting culture become an issue.
1. Be Patient: When you come across people from different cultures and do not possess this quality—it may get quite frustrating. Communication can be tiresome and behavior may become inappropriate or worse this may result in misunderstandings. One must be patient with themselves and others when difficult issues arise and to learn how to avoid future similar incidents.
2. . Establish Rules: If one is working in a multicultural environment, there must be rules made to address each of your co-worker’s needs, or if rules have already been imposed, a healthy respect and obedience for these rules should be done.
3. Ask Questions: When you don't understand something or want to know why someone has behaved in a certain way, simply ask instead of making assumptions about them.
4. Respect: This is the main foundation for effective communication between cultures. Showing respectful behavior earns respect as well as makes you more open to gaining new and fruitful multicultural relationships. 5....
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