The S.T.U.C.K. Method

Five Simple Steps to Emotional Well-Being

STUCK on CULTURAL MANNERISMS

4 Comments

My family and I live in a bubble.

For better or worse, it’s where we live.

On a tiny kibbutz, in a remote area in Northern Israel.

We are removed from city life and all of the realities that come along with that.

Additionally, I wouldn’t say that our community is necessarily reflective of the overall Israeli population.  At all.

For example, we are probably about 1/4 English speakers, mostly all educated, and mostly all non-smokers.

So, leaving Hannaton for two days with my daughter was quite a shocker for her.

I took her to Jerusalem as a part of her preparation to becoming a Bat Mitzvah (i.e. the age at which she is expected to take on the commandments that an adult does.)

In any event, as I enjoyed watching her experience the city, I found myself STUCK on one particular Israeli cultural mannerism:

Pushing.

Whether we were about to board a bus, or the light rail, or getting tickets for a show, or walking around Jerusalem Knights 2013 Festival, I felt like everyone was pushing.  I felt like they were, well, because, they were!

I’ve been living in my bubble for so long, that I forgot that this is part of the culture here.

(For those Israelis reading this, who may get STUCK on being offended by what I’ve written so far, please know that YES, this is a generalization.  And, NO, not ALL Israelis push when they need something, just like ALL Americans are not always polite, and say “please/thank you” 1,000 times a day.  It’s a generalization, that’s all.  So, please don’t be STUCK on offended.)

Anyway, I was STUCK judging/thinking to myself…

Why do they do this?

Why can’t they just get in line and wait patiently like they do in America?

Why doesn’t someone teach them?  Like at a young age?  So, that things will CHANGE here, for G-d’s sake!

Because you know, if you DON’T push, you don’t get on that bus, or that light rail, or you’ll get run over at the festival.

And, in my angst, I started pushing to… I felt I had to.

I opened my mouth a few times… (“No need to push, you know!”), but all I got back was obnoxious stares or a lack of acknowledgement.

I actually really wanted to take a picture, for this blog, but my daughter cautioned me… saying probably it’s not the right thing to do.

Anyway, as always, I came back to this mindfulness practice.

What did I do?

First, I allowed myself to be still.  And just notice what I was feeling and allow myself to feel that.

And in that silence, I recognized what was underneath all of this… My comparison of the culture I come from.

And, even though that feeling may return to me many more times while living here, I recognized the CHOICE of how I would behave.

Instead of rolling my eyes, cursing under my breath, or staring obnoxiously, I could choose to just notice the pushing.

Just notice it.

And, be okay and compassionate with myself that I was STUCK on it in the first place.

And instead enjoy my precious time with my daughter.

Which is what I did.

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Author: Shira Taylor Gura

Well-Being Coach, Podcast Host, Author of the award winning book, Getting unSTUCK: 5 Simple Steps to Emotional Well-Being.

4 thoughts on “STUCK on CULTURAL MANNERISMS

  1. Hi shir , I really enjoyed reading your blog. Love, me

    >

  2. I thought of another choice in the moment. Choose to be Israeli. Remember in that moment why you moved here in the first place and kinda just go along with the crowd. See pushing as cultural special and not culturally wrong. (Unless no one is really getting hurt in the moment.) Of course, easier said than done. But I’ve found that once we lose the glow that is being brand new in a foreign place, we start forgetting what attracted us here in the first place. And start looking (without realizing) for reasons to leave…

  3. a few typos up there but I hope you get the idea. 🙂

  4. Reasons to leave? Really? I don’t think I’ve felt that yet (at least not consciously), but again, perhaps that’s just because we’re living in a bubble that I really like and feel safe in. Thanks for your “choice” in the moment. The new acronym that I wrote about today, actually helped me in the situation. (I just didn’t write about it).

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