What is the meaning of culture? The word culture has many meanings.
There is popular culture. Corporate culture, family culture, religious, social culture and Southern culture. All cultures have bottom lines. There are shared attitudes, values, goals, and they practice all charateristics of said groups. Some cultures wear colors and wear symbols of their allegiance to their cultures. Do other animals have cultures? There is sound evidence animals show evidence of behaviors which can be transmitted socially.
Are humans smarter than other animals? I have concluded animal culture is fundamently different from human culture. Some culture behavior is rejected by all animals.
At the end of the day all animals show some degree of cultural knowledge.
Human communities and traditions vary. Traditions vary from country to country and from state to state in America. With that being said, people are more similar than some of us may think. Humans gather together in groups like other animals. We argue to get our points over to others. We get embarrassed, we sometimes walk away like other animals. So, we aren’t any different from apes, dogs, birds and the list goes on. So, what makes humans believe we are superior to other animals? Humans practice hypocrisy. Is this a trait only human beings possess?
Animals teach their young in ways like humans. Take fishing! My father taught me to fish as a small child. Mother would never go with us. However, she would clean our catch. Daddy and I would go to our favorite fishing spots. He would always take his gun in case we came upon any animals that could harm us. Humans or reptiles. Daddy was a WWII veteran. Thinking back on those times. I wasn’t the only girl a dad would take fishing.
Our father was a master bricklayer. These men had a bricklayers organization. They were masons. These men would go fishing with their children. The men would take their sons. If a man didn’t have a son, that father would take his daughter.
There were times when Daddy and I would go fishing by ourselves. I loved those times. We would sit and talk. I remember one time we went cat fishing. Dad forgot the net. And the fish took his line. He wanted me go into the pond and get the fish. Dad handed me a lawn chair to get that fish. We laughed and laughed. We didn’t catch any fish that day. Daddy brought fish from another man. He told mother he caught those fish. Mother didn’t care. As long as we had catfish for dinner.
This was the culture I grew up in.
The last gift I gave my father on Father’s Day, was a rod and reel. He never got an opportunity to go fishing.
We as human beings can’t be knowledgeable about all cultures. Some of us are fortunate to travel to other countries. Metro Atlanta is rich with different cultures. Their neighborhoods abound with strange and unfamiliar sounds, foods and the way these groups dress. COVID-19 is still with us. It may not be the time to visit all these communities which would enrich us. Covington, Georgia, is rich also.
On Feb. 18, news media reported about NASA’S Perservance. The rover touch down on the surface of Mars. What is the future meaning of this touch down? I will be long gone when humans inhabit Mars. There will be a Mars culture. The Greeks called Mars Ares (pronounced Air-EEZ) because the planet resembles the color of blood. There will be a Mars culture. Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727) would be astonished and so am I.
Dorothy Piedrahita is a Covington resident who has worked as an activist and in government and business throughout her career.