by Gabriella de Oliveira

Culture is complex, volatile, and beautiful. Culture is the definition of people’s habits, language, arts, and beliefs. It represents how people think, behave, and work at most times.

Most importantly, it is the foundation of how people create relationships and perspectives of what it means to be a human in society. That said, investing in cultural awareness means to communicate better, to overcome divisions, and to have different experiences in life.

Cultural awareness is the understanding of how people react. By seeing others’ background, intentions, and meanings, it is easier to communicate. Taking the time to understand cultures transform people in better listeners, not only when it comes to words, but also in body language.

Communication works more effectively in professional, academic, and personal environments. There’s nothing more important than networking in today’s world, so that’s a large portion of it. Meeting others and developing strong connections is a skill worth working.

Moreover, culture has the power to overcome divisions. Individuals don’t get stuck in a bubble full of stereotypes and prejudgments. Learning differences creates empathy, respect, and care. These are all essential aspects when dealing with a family situation, romantic relationships, or even teamwork with colleagues. It is a liberation of misconceptions and prejudice around communities, which will also help others feel safe and heard. 

Additionally, it brings a whole pack of new experiences and adventures. By getting out of comfort zones, people get more flexible and adaptable to every change that comes next. It pushes to the unfamiliar, and it makes it possible to acquire more knowledge about life itself. It becomes an essential part of personal and professional development and growth. That’s especially true when different activities help to amplify abilities such as creativity, confidence, time management, self-knowledge, between others. 

Jeanette Toledo, President for the International Cultural Club at St. Francis College, discusses the importance of being culturally aware in the path of making good decisions and being open-minded.

Considering that the United States’ cultural aspects were created based on many other countries, she recognizes the significance of learning others’ differences.

“Other peoples’ culture is interesting to learn. It stimulates your mind and forces you to think in new ways. It helps your mental capacities,” she says. 

All in all, cultural awareness will not only help communications practices, but it will also boost empathy development and new experiences along the way. It relates to daily life and every single person in the world. Why not take advantage of that? 

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