Kapuscinski's Understanding Others

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Culture can play a big role in our lives, even when we don’t notice it. It influences our thoughts, perspectives, beliefs, and actions. Culture can also give us a sense of belonging. The majority of people in the world want to know where they belong or where they fit in. Culture can help us build a community that involves people who have the same beliefs and agree on certain subjects. However, culture can also create discrimination and otherness. Sometimes, we “other” people just because we do not understand their culture or because their beliefs are different from ours. The act of “othering” can often lead to conflicts or misunderstandings. So we have to ask ourselves, is there a way for us to preserve and respect a culture without othering…show more content…
Both of these authors mentioned the attitude we use when meeting others. Kapuscinski stated that there are three possible ways people might act when encountering the others. First, they might create conflicts; second, they might isolate themselves; or third, they might form connections. In addition, according to Kapuscinski, these behaviors have been happening throughout history. Mernissi, on the other hand, talked about the lesson she learned from her grandmother, Yasimia. The lesson that Mernissi writes about is to accept and learn from the people that are different from you. Because the more willing you are to learn from these strangers, the more knowledge you will…show more content…
Kapuscinski thinks that by forming connection with strangers, we can learn, trade, and erase the wall between the others and us. To strengthen his argument, he uses examples that happened throughout history. For example, the Silk Road or the Amber Route. Mernissi explained that by opening yourselves up to “the others”, you could learn from their differences and diversity. Mernissi uses her grandmother’s lesson to persuade her readers. Both authors believe that we can learn something from “the others” and they both mention how the others and us actually might have something in common too. The article Understanding Strangers proves that there are ways for culture and “the others” to exist without alienating someone. We just have to understand that we are all humans and that no matter how different our beliefs are from each other; we still can learn and cooperate with each
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