Developing Sanity in Human Affairs

By Susan Presby Kodish; Robert P. Holston | Go to book overview
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Overview

Milton Dawes

The presenters in the Social/Cultural theme move us from "head" to "heart" and back. Presentations address a wide range of "organism-as-a- whole-in-environments" issues that include the individual in society; the individual and professionals; the impact of technology on the interactions among 'institutions'-individuals-professionals; the individual and him/herself; the individual as "international bridge" toward better human relationships; the individual as storyteller, listener, and interpreter of stories; the individual as problem-solving time-binder; the individual as a living and dying system.

Gregg Hoffmann, in his presentation "A General Semantics Approach to Appreciating Culture Diversity," emphasizes the importance of remembering--and acting in accordance with--the notion that a group of people we classify as culturally different from us is not composed of identical individuals: There are individual differences among those we have stereotyped as "same culture." We need to pay more attention to the diversity of individual rhythms that make up what we abstract as homogeneous cultural rhythms.

Laura Bertone, presenting "A North-South Bridge of General Semantics," reminds us that each one of us qualifies as "interpreter." She presents a passionate account of her cross cultural experiences working as interpreter at various high-level international conferences, where officials often act in ways that serve as barriers to achieving the goals they seek. She appeals to us to perceive ourselves individually as "bridges" facilitating better human relationships, across cultures and across countries.

Rachel Lauer, in "How General Semantics Contributes to the Understanding of Violence," stresses the importance of considering violence

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