Cultural Influences And Its Impact On Excellence Essay

Cultural Influences And Its Impact On Excellence Essay

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The perspectives program has played a crucial role in my development as an individual and as part of society. It has given me the means to critically question my cultural influences and has thereby enabled me to strive towards excellence both in terms of becoming a better citizen, capable of contributing to a society of publics, as well as becoming a better human, by seeking excellence through friendship.
Culture can be curse and redemption at once. Growing up in western society we passively gorge ourselves on the ideas of the great thinkers of our past taking their thoughts for granted. The legacy of few men becomes generalized to cultural norms. With little or no understanding we spew forth catchphrases and consider ourselves wise for knowing words long void of any meaning to most. Unreflectively we propagate thoughtless obedience to the lowest common denominator, which consists of great ideas stripped down and simplified to mere shadows of the original thought. We contend ourselves with the shadow world and teach their children how one may distinguish between a shadow horse from a shadow dog never returning our gaze to the objects casting them. Only when the children are torn away from the shadows of culture and turned to objects casting them can they realize the true beauty of the thought that formed western society.
This force driving the eyes of the young from the norms of a culture to the true thoughts and ideas on which it was originally founded is liberal education. It concretizes the thoughts placed in the heads of the students by the culture they grew up in and offers them a platform to truly come to understand, discuss and critique these thoughts. It opens the eyes of those who may develop the norms of the coming ge...

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...eisure many professions have become mind-sappingly meaningless. Most forms of leisure have developed away from giving meaning and instead have become a rush of consumption in order to trick yourself into forgetting how meaningless your everyday is. People must learn to sacrifice leisure and efficiency for the sake of meaning. In the short term such a sacrifice may be difficult, due to America’s addiction to consumption; however this cultural shift away from efficiency towards one in which the value of political and personal friendship were valued would provide a basis to prevent political decisions to be justified by efficiency alone. In order for such a cultural shift to take place people must come to understand, question and criticize their cultural influences, and strive to form friendships of excellence, as perspectives has enabled and encouraged us to do.

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