Whose standards? Whose values?

Whose standards? Whose values?

When we do things, we do things based on standards and values. However, standards and values are very much a cultural thing.

The standard at which you are to wrap a present, for example, vary wildly between Japan and New Zealand. In New Zealand, you can get away with wrapping a present willy nilly, and using an unevenly torn piece of sellotape. In Japan, this would be a crime.

In New Zealand, speaking out and sharing your opinion is very much valued, even if, no especially if, it goes against the grain. This shows that you have thought more than five minutes about the issue at hand. In Japan, any opinion that goes against the (already culturally decided) grain is seen as a nuisance and a waste of time. If you let it.

We live in a global society, with global standards and global values. Or do we? In some situations yes, for example at big multinational companies. However, in smaller local companies this isn’t always the case.

You can let your own standards and values influence the decisions made by pointing out how some people might see things differently, but when it comes to doing things, you’re going to have to go with the standards and values that you feel, not with what the standards and values of the current situation imply you to do. That’s the only way to feel like you’ve truly helped.

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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 

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