Throughout history, there have been various perspectives of multicultural differences. According to Meriam Webster (n.d.), culture is “the beliefs, customs, arts, institutions, and the thoughts or products of a particular society or group.” Unfortunately, African Americans, Native Americans, Italians, Irish, Jews as well as various other cultural groups have been profoundly discriminated against and negatively stereotyped (Good Therapy org.). With the frequent mingling of cultures in educational settings, the workplace, and in the social arena, we are bound to encounter cultural differences.
The early church was planted in a diverse cultural setting. Before Jesus ascended into heaven, he instructed his followers to spread the Gospel to all nations (Mark 16:15). In Acts 1:8 (New International Version), they are directed to be witnesses "in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." On the day of Pentecost, Peter preached to a diverse crowd, and people "heard the word of God in their own native tongue" (Acts 2:1-13). The earliest missionaries and believers spoke various languages, were of different cultures and countries, and varied in social status. They encountered some of the same cultural issues and barriers we do today. The apostle Paul addresses these issues by saying we are one in Christ. "There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28). Some argue that since we worship the same God and are guided by the same Holy Spirit, that we can apply the same biblical based counseling principles to people of other cultures without adaptation. However, others contend that we m...
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...cultural differences. As a professional counselor, I will continue to educate myself properly, so as to give the best counsel by building trust and rapport. A few other aspects to keep in mind is learning to become culturally sensitive to communication and steering clear of trigger words or speech that the client may find offensive. Also, being aware of spatial distance is necessary. Some cultures prefer close contact and others may find too close of a distance intrusive.
In conclusion, I believe the best way to connect with somebody is by taking the time to get to know and understand them. By doing this, you will learn a new appreciation for their uniqueness. As Wade Davis (2013) once said, “The world in which you were born is just one model of reality. Other cultures are not failed attempts at being like you. They are unique manifestations of the human spirit.”
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