CULTURES & MENTALITIES

natalybrunner

Since I’ve been in Germany, there’s one thing I’ve learned for sure: respect all cultures and be tolerant to the people who never had the desire to move to other countries for a living. Be very tolerant because they simply don’t have the experience…

Traveling for several weeks or even a couple of years is one thing, but moving and finding out the real life, real people and their real feelings – is something else altogether.. You learn that traveling it is kind of a nice escape and a good way to relax, but you really don’t know anything about those places and people until you live there.

I must say that before Germany I didn’t meet many people who were different from me, and while I saw a lot of people – they were usually from familiar cultures. Now, after years of being married to a German man, I see life from a different point of view. A lot of people ask how such relationships that are made from totally different mentalities and temperaments, can work. And I always say that it works – if there is love then everything works. It is not always easy and you need to learn a lot about the different mentalities of the people who surround you, but it can work. And I try to have the same approach to other cultures as well, simply interact with love and a wish to understand, not to judge – then everything works out.

I remember the time in Germany when I needed to go through social help and when I met a lot of other people who were on social help. Most of them were foreign people or at least I was automatically landing between them by an integration system. It was a hard time, but I guess one of the most necessary times in my life. It was hard because I began to see that life in such a rich country is not automatically rosy-pink. A lot of people go through a horror life in the first years after they move, and for those who want to work there are no chances. Some did not wish to move, but did need; some had no contact person in the new place, and most of them didn’t even speak a bit of German. But one good thing was there – the desire to help each other.

And everyone helped however they could – some with a word, some with babysitting children when necessary, others ran to buy medicine if someone was sick. Different cultures – and all found a common language without really speaking it. Maybe it was because no one had anything left to lose, they’d already lost everything and remained just to find something new – maybe because life had brought them to a point where they simply didn’t have a choice. I don’t know, but in its way it was a beautiful time.

During that time, I came to understand the fact that all people want the same thing, they just talk in parallel languages. They all want peace, freedom, love and acceptance. This can be very hard to find when you come to an already based culture which, in fact, has grown rather tired of immigrants. Tired, or maybe surprised by how difficult it is to let themselves be open to new ways of thinking and feeling.Still too hurt in their own perception about own destiny for letting themselves open to something new and allow other ways of thinking or feeling. I’m not sure, but I know it takes time to understand that no matter the different mentalities – the goal is the same.  

Years later, now the owner of my own business, I’ve had the opportunity to meet many different people and have lots of conversations.  I’ve made new friends and learned that one has to be tolerant of people and give them a chance to learn new things. When we allow new people into our world, our lives gain sense and meaning at the end.

If we’re open to new situations, we’ll always have people in our lives that will fulfill us – if you are too rational, you can learn from someone who is emotional. If you are too emotional – then someone rational may balance your being with calmness. People get better when they widen their horizons and mix with others, and maybe this is why we intuitively connect. When we make connections with those from different cultures and countries, we become stronger, better, more interesting.

A person is seen by his values and his own special qualities – and this has really nothing to do with how civilized, or how important you are, and certainly has nothing to do with the culture you belong to.

It has to do I guess with a person’s own reserves of love, patience and wish to understand …

5 Comments

  • Andrea Robinson says:

    My favorite quote from you, Nataly: “If there is love then everything works.” Beautifully said. My own experience with travel was a combination of rapidly moving from place to place and staying in one place for a long enough time to get a real feel for the culture, i.e., living there for six months. I adore all my travels, because I have a true appreciation for the beauty of all cultures and the amazing people inhabiting each country I’ve visited. I also like visiting a country many times so I can learn more of the language and blend in, even date overseas. So, I totally love and support what you’re doing, and I especially admire your pluckiness in starting your own business in a country that doesn’t speak your native language. Kudos to you! 🙂

  • Darlene Unsett says:

    There’s nothing like going through an experience yourself to make you understand the plight of other people dealing with similar circumstances. I’ve often thought that some of the trials I go through in my life are mainly to teach me compassion. It’s easy to look down on someone, or discount their problems if you haven’t been there yourself.
    I envy you for the opportunity to live in several different cultures. I love to travel but like you say, you don’t get a real feel for a place or the people if you don’t stay for awhile. Way to hang in there and come out on top!

  • Nataly Bunner says:

    So true, Darlene. It teaches a lot of compassion and respect. Thank you!

  • Maxim Utzinger says:

    Sometimes when people lose everything, they find themselves. It looks this happened to you. And I agree with Andrea, this is the best quote: “If there is love then everything works.”

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