Category Archives: cultural differences

My Monkey Mind – Culture of Threes

monkeys

My monkey mind postings relate to Buddha’s description of the human mind as being filled with drunken monkeys, jumping around, screeching, chattering, and carrying on endlessly. These postings come from my monkey mind.

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A Culture of Threes

These  Monkey Mind posts are just fun.  They allow me to step back, process thoughts, ideas, and other information which come my way, and then look for connections.   Connecting the dots is apparently a creative process.

Since our world is super-charged with information, it is impossible to react to everything which interests me.  So, I have used our culture of threes as a filter to lead me to those things which are worth pursuing further.

Our culture of threes was introduced to me by a trainer whose heritage was American Indian.  Her perspective was different from those of us in the audience.  She was attempting to teach change management and elevate the level of understanding about diversity in the workplace to a group of accounting oriented employees.  Her approach began with talking about how most of us (in the Western world), live in a culture where we refer to things in threes.   I had never thought about it, but she  went on to list a few common terms and descriptions such as:

Three blind mice

The three musketeers

Three strikes and you’re out

Then I began thinking of others like

Three Dog Night (a band)

Once, twice, three times a lady (from a song)

Three wise men

A triple threat

and of course the familiar , I’m counting to three and you better….

You can probably think of many more.  When I googled the subject I found some expanded writing which you can read by clicking here.

That day the instructor was trying to make a point about  how just because we are comfortable with a culture of threes, it doesn’t mean that everyone in the world sees things this way.  Unfortunately the subtlety of her message was not getting through to most.  One attendee stood up and informed the group that he had a lot of work to do at his desk and just wanted to know what not to say and do when it came to dealing with women.  He pretty much let us all know that this was a waste of time to him.  The instructor looked shocked, and I was so grateful that I wasn’t the speaker that day.

The culture of threes and the reaction of the man in the audience who was so resistant to change have stayed with me over the years.  As with most of us, when I hear something new, or someone wants me to pursue a certain activity, join a group, or spend my energy in a certain way, I often resist and shut off the message.  So I adopted a personal rule that when something came into my consciousness the first time I would just make a mental note and move on.  Then, when it comes again from a totally different source, I start paying attention.  When it arrives again for the third time from yet another source, I invest some time and energy is seeing what I am supposed to do with all these triggers of information.  I sense there is a message reminding me to open my heart and mind and see where things go from there.

In the last few weeks I had one of those culture of threes experiences.  These are just little things which don’t mean much to anyone else but me.  Put together, they have made me smile, encouraged me in my work with the Financial Freedom Party for Women, and connected some dots in a manner I didn’t expect.  I will be posting about them in future postings.

Until next time.

Debra Hadsall

www.financialfreedomparty.com and www.ffptalk.com

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My Monkey Mind – Change and the New Normal

monkeys

My monkey mind postings relate to Buddha’s description of the human mind as being filled with drunken monkeys, jumping around, screeching, chattering, and carrying on endlessly. These postings come from my monkey mind.
 

 It is interesting how we get into habits and then something changes such as a move to a new area.  Then we find ourselves learning new skills, experiencing a different lifestyle, meeting new people, and become more observant.

First, with our recent move from a small town on the Gulf of Mexico, to the hill country of Texas, I do not currently have daily access to Internet.  What used to be a simple phone call to the local cable or phone company to have service connected in a home in town just doesn’t work in the area where we live outside of town.  So I have become good friends with the Yellow Pages and my new hard-line telephone.  I can’t even research Internet providers on-line unless I go to town and where I use a connection in the library or McDonald’s.  However, at the library I discovered it has great Internet access and a generous check out limit of 25 books per person.  Apparently lots of folks home school children so the library accommodates their needs with this limit.  Nice and we all benefit.  My other Internet stop is the local McDonald’s.  I have seen that it is the hang-out for other Internet users and, more interestingly, the local elderly gentlemen who meet and have coffee in the morning or ice cream in the afternoon.  I have learned a lot about ranching, farming, trapping “coons”, trucks, farm equipment, families, friends, and Johnny Manziel (the Heisman Trophy winner who is from the city next door), during their conversations.   No, I am not eavesdropping; these southern gentlemen can be clearly heard by all.  They make me smile.  Like I said, a change in environment teaches us new skills and forces us to pay more attention to our surroundings.

I have learned to be grateful for the guy who climbed up on the metal roof of the house in 100+ temperatures to see if his company could provide Internet service. When he told me they couldn’t, I was so busy wondering what to do next that I didn’t even react when I realized he had mentioned the word “sweetheart” when delivering the bad news.  Not my favorite term.   I decided that any man who lives in south central Texas and climbs on a hot roof in the Texas sun may call me whatever he wishes.  Still, no Internet and on to the next option.  I think the end is in site, but only when I sit at this table and use the Internet will I declare success.

We put a hardline telephone into our new place since half the time our cell phone calls drop.  Not having had a hard-line phone for personal use in a home for a very long time I decided to get the basic package with local service only. Stacks of costs for phones make me crazy and my preference is to use cell phones only.  So I was proud of my cost conscious decision to save $50 a month and not have long distance, voicemail and all that other stuff.  I reasoned that I could just use a prepaid long distance card and buy a phone with an old-fashioned recorder.  Never mind that I used to make fun of my Mom’s use of the recorder rather than voicemail   It only took me a visit to Wal-Mart, the local grocery store, and a popular convenience store to find out my calling card knowledge was lost in the stone ages.  I could buy cards to call Mexico, cards to add minutes to almost any cellular phone plan, and cards for international calling (which were kept in an enclosed plastic case) but there weren’t any cards for prepaid long distance.  Not giving up, I journeyed from the store to the library where I went on-line and found that yes; I could buy calling card access.  I purchased 300 minutes and felt like I was redeemed.  My plan worked.  The other night my husband was going to make a long distance call from our new hardline phone.  I told him I would dial it for him because I knew how to make it happen.  He informed me he could dial a phone by himself.  In the end, I did it for him since I had been practicing with that old-fashioned calling card.  New habits, new people, new experiences.  While we will never be back to our old normal, we will be up to a better than ever normal.

Until Next Time

Debra Hadsall

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www.ffptalk.com

www.financialfreedomparty.com

My Monkey Mind-Cultural Differences

monkeys

My monkey mind postings relate to Buddha’s description of the human mind as being filled with drunken monkeys, jumping around, screeching, chattering, and carrying on endlessly. These postings come from my monkey mind.
 
While walking around the town we moved to in the hill country of Texas, I was thinking how different it is culturally from the small gulf coast town where we had been living until recently.  I was recalling  how I had been telling  a young woman there about my mother’s recent move to a nice retirement community.  She had been around my mother and gotten to know her a little.  I could tell that my young friend probably didn’t really know understand the idea of an independent living retirement community, assisted living, or nursing homes.  As with many people in the area we lived, her family roots were in Mexico. 
 
Her reaction reminded me of a presentation I made to a group of people who had recently arrived in Colorado.  One of the not-for-profit agencies offered life skills training to them and I was asked to speak.  Of course nobody told me it was going to be to a group who only understood Spanish.  It was an interesting evening and I learned a lot.
 
Everything had to be translated by their teacher.  She was motivated and capable, so all was well.  It was just a different rhythm than past presentations.  I explained topics such as checking accounts, car insurance, pay slips, insurance, and even investing.  She would then play it back to the group, in Spanish.  She could have said anything, what would I know?  So learning to trust another with my information was the first lesson of the evening.
 
All was going well and the audience seemed to be getting it so I decided to include information about long-term care insurance.  I made my statements and waited for the translation.  When the teacher finished, everyone in the audience started laughing, giggling, and looking at me like I was just a little crazy. There was a big change in the noise level in the room.  The teacher laughed a little too.  I asked her what had made them react that way since the topic never generated that reaction before.  She explained that in their culture nobody goes to retirement or nursing homes, except the nuns.  The elderly are simply a part of the extended family and are cared for by children, grandchildren, and others in the family.  The idea of buying insurance to pay someone to care for them when they were old seemed ridiculous, funny, and clearly a waste of money.  They were entertained, but not impressed.  A first for me.
 
After that evening I would preface my long-term care insurance presentations to acknowledge cultural differences, and then explain the potential value to the customer.  Like I said, I learned a lot that evening. 
 
Until next time.
 
Debra Hadsall
 
 
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 www.financialfreedomparty.com
blog at www.ffptalk.com