Prosecards from the Edge (of a Continent)

A running commentary on my life in Izmir, Turkey...and other thoughts.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Sheepish?

America, let's face it, is the land of Me, Me and Me. Particularly California, where I grew up. Nothing is more important than my career, my diet and training regimen, my schedule, my personal fulfillment and happiness. We are pretty much a land of self-centered individuals...which is not to say that we aren't nice, friendly and hospitable, but still, deep down, we are lone wolves, rooted in the culture of 'what I want.' There are a lot of good sides to this: it breeds industry and innovation, fosters variety. Everybody's trying to be more different than everyone else; everyone wants to stand out.

But if America is the land of lone wolves, than Turkey is a society of sheep. Before you defenders of Turkey go getting huffy, let me clarify that I don't mean sheep in the unthinking, obedient, brainless way you're probably thinking. I say sheep because, in exact opposite to me-centered American culture, Turkish society is profoundly group-centered. The individual is not encouraged; standing out is not something to be proud of. Being a superlative cog in the big wheel is more to be aspired to than being a stand-out individual.

This raises the question for me: can one who was raised in the most Me-centered part of Me-land, coming from a totally non-cohesive, non-communicative family of die-hard Individuals, no less, manage to integrate into Turkish sheep society? Can a lone wolf, by changing its surroundings, actually effect its transformation into a sheep? Or will it forever remain a wolf...albeit one in sheep's clothing?

1 Comments:

At 2:08 PM, Blogger KimArar said...

You're spot on. And no, you cannot change the quality of your fur or your canines for that of a sheep. You'd go crazy trying. For while a sheep may occasionally become a rogue, a wolf will never be a conformer.

As for the etymology of "Adam" I believe its from the Arabic. Try an Arabic speaker. :)

 

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