Being a student of organizational psychology and human resources, and what I (Tahir Jahangir) have studied is that humans are basically driven by their DNA which results in their behavior output with the rest of the world. Experiential learning is what most people agree upon i.e. what you see is how you act in life and that is the basic fabric of your belief system. We tend to accept what is moral or immoral by scrutinizing our society and the general behavior of what we call morally correct people.
Since my arrival in the United States, I have somewhat started having a personal debate with whether it is our psychology (the mind) or the culture (our surroundings, norms and values) which define us or shape us into what we are?
Some key differences which I have noticed since my arrival from Pakistan (mind you this is my first blog and what I have written is just based on 30 days of living in the US, opinions might change at the 12th month point) are:
– General Politeness
One of the first thing which I noticed as soon as we landed on Dulles International airport was the fresh air and clean environment and that has manifested itself into a lot of other things in the four weeks so far, from clean and tidy roads and pavements to entire clean infrastructure and public parks. America is clean that is a fact. Secondly when we came to New York and got our house owner taught us the first how garbage is disposed in New York (there are four categories, another post to cover that). How to clean the bathroom and the washroom, how to do utensils and how to clean the entire space before heading out.
People here tend to be very polite, they will wave at you while walking their dogs and will be very nice if you engage in conversation with them, most of them ready to help you.
While talking with our American house owner here, I gathered that most of the things are more cultural rather than psychological, so this begs the question that is our psychology driven and shaped by our cultural or more of what makes us human. The conquest for answering the nature vs nurture continues.
Till my next blog post.