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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Global Perception and You(part 4): The Worldly Curmudgeon

When you see the world through the eyes of a Worldly Curmudgeon, you’re letting everything this world has to offer come into you; all the joy, all the sorrow, all the pain, all the pleasure and all the points of view present in different ways of life. Each becomes worth equal consideration as they gain equal weight in our judgment, bringing our view full circle so we can see the complexity all of us are capable of the more we see how perception changes interpretation. How complex can people get? Let’s start with the people we meet in the city. 

In the city you could find someone with a deep appreciation of bluegrass and nature as much as you could find a long time Jazz fan born and raised in the heartland. The same could be said of someone living in Brazil, Switzerland, Japan or anywhere else, and those who see that fact for themselves become freed to let all they’ve picked up make their learning experience that much richer. 

The curiosity they honed as Newbies, the drive to improve gained as a Smart-Ass and the desire to delve deeper refined as an Issue Minded Prick are bonded together by the experiences we all share that enable us to view each other as human beings. These are the traits held by a Worldly Curmudgeon, and are things they hold close to them in what they do. They’re also likely to catch language learning programs meant for beginners and say “That’s the most insulting thing I’ve seen in my life”.  

This overall outlook keeps them looking for new wisdom, because to them, the fact that there’s more to a language and culture than they’ll learn in 2 lifetimes is an awesome thing. That’s because where their knowledge takes them is only limited by where they want to go. So, with that in mind, where do you want your studies to lead you?

Example dialogue of the Worldly Curmudgeon: Good to know that J-pop can be as brainless and idiot-proof to make as the stuff back home…and just as likely to get stuck in my head. Cotsarnit

Many things make your journey your own, but remember that there are people out there who’ve walked similar paths willing to help us make sense of the stuff that doesn’t seem to, like why Japanese restaurants discourage tipping(be grateful they do, by the way). Because this theory, like others, is not written in stone, you could have a healthy mix of traits from each stage regardless of where you are as a student, such as a newbie having the fierce nature of an Issue Minded Prick. 

Relatedly, being at a certain stage doesn’t lock you into a certain personality type-I.E. me being eternally salty after 7+ years of study doesn’t mean you’ll be. You’ll also hear what the ‘real’ Japan is from lots of different people, but the truth is that Japanese people are as likely to be racist, narrow-minded or ignorant as anyone you’ll meet on the street, and the same goes for being polite, kindly and considerate. Besides, if you think people around you are massive airheads, that’ll be what you’ll find in Japan, too. The sooner you realize that, the sooner your experience will go on the uptick.

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