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I try not to pry into what I see as the private business of others. Privacy, I believe is something that is strongly valued in America -- in other societies, older societies, what one did was of interest to the community, even if it took place behind closed doors. However, despite or even because of the privacy and freedom given to me, I try to uphold my high moral standards, even when I do not feel that there is someone like a priest or a policeman 'watching' over my shoulder.
However, I do think that given that we live in an age where life is growing even more private, maybe too private, as so many people spend the little leisure time they have surfing the net, pretending to be anonymous individuals in the virtual and disembodied space of the Internet. It is easy to profess one set of morals at work, in public and another set at home, in private, when there is so little moral accountability in the world of the Internet.
Even as I grow older, I still have close ties to my family. Family is important to me, but unlike someone from an earlier society, my family is not synonymous with who I am, nor would my family wish me to think this were the case. My family desires me to evolve my own person, and not to be dependent upon them financially, or for my identity.
Gender think my culture has grown more and more tolerant of the blurring of the genders in fashion and in friendship, as well as at work. I count both males and females as my friends, and do not see one sex as less capable than the other, while even in the attitudes of my parents, I notice they often find it difficult that men and women can truly be just friends.
To me, religion is a personal choice. It is not determined by one's membership in a nation or even a community. Religion must fulfill a personal, spiritual need, and can even encompass even the worship of nature. It is not an obligation to be religious or of a particular religion, it is a choice, and one can be moral without being a part of a formal religion.
Sampling art from all over the world, in the form of books and music has been my privilege as an American in the 21st century. I can even look at the moment-by-moment daily life of individuals on the Internet, living in nations worlds away. Art is something not always found in a museum, or located in the far past, it is something that expresses the art's creativity and 'speaks' to me.
Like everyone else, I have grown more reliant upon technology for my subsistence. The idea of preparing a meal without a refrigerator and a stove, or a microwave, would be impossible -- or hunting and killing my food, rather than obtaining it from the supermarket! Even getting up in the morning requires an alarm clock. Machines like cars and computers have made life easier, but have also made us lazier, less physically fit, and made us forget how to use hands-on knowledge of how to survive on a basic level.
Conclusion: Cultural ideology
In reflecting upon these remarks I wonder if my culture ideology is more of a lack of any sense of ideology at all. The stress upon privacy and individualism in American culture is positive, because it encourages tolerance, self-expression, and breaking boundaries where before people had profound social strictures that hemmed in their creativity and ability to connect with individuals from other groups. But living in a fluid and often disembodied technological culture comes at a loss as well as gives us many gifts as a culture. We -- I, in comparison to my parents and grandparents -- have lost a sense of community, of physical engagement, and a sense of security about what we will do in the future. I am glad I am living when I am living, where I am living, but it often feels like a great challenge to be young in the culture of the 21st century today.[continue]
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