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Culture Building is Bullshit

A culture is the set of underlying beliefs that people build their behavior on. This is true for any culture whether it be in an organization, church, or society as a whole. Culture exists with no forethought and is always at play underneath what people are doing (or not doing). Culture can change as beliefs change and this can be both a conscious and unconscious effort. Bottom line, whether you're conscious of it or not, culture is always present and responsible when it comes to behaviors.

It's hard to digest that in times such as the Holocaust, or slavery, or anytime there have been violations of civil liberties or crimes against humanity, there was a culture that allowed for these atrocities to take place. Certain collective beliefs had to be in place, such as "those people are not human," in order for other human beings to be victim to such crimes. Brene Brown talks about the danger of dehumanizing the "other" in her book, Braving the Wilderness. And yet, I see people on an every day basis jump into the act of dehumanizing one another when they disagree. This is a defense mechanism that stems from fear.

We must become aware of our fears and consciously assess our own beliefs in order to find our way back to connection; otherwise, we are in danger of repeating more serious crimes against humanity. No matter the "rightness" or "wrongness" involved in hurting other human beings, they are still human beings and all beings deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Even if they are spouting off radical ideologies and hurting other people. As the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. so eloquently stated, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

This is why culture building is bullshit. Culture building is bullshit because "building" a culture does not take into account the higher, authentic-self. Building a culture is about making claims about what you want and then forcing people to make their mask fit that culture. I propose a #FearlessCulture. One in which people first become aware of their true nature and then use that to take off their mask.