It can also include groups we join or become part of. If you haven't had a chance to understand how your culture has affected you first hand, it's more difficult to understand how it could affect anyone else or why it might be important to them.For example, we can acquire a new culture by moving to a new region, by a change in our economic status, or by becoming disabled. It may seem odd that in order to learn about people in other cultures, we start by becoming more aware of our own culture. If you are comfortable talking about your own culture, then you will become better at listening to others talk about theirs.

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For example, if you are Irish American, your culture has probably influenced your life.

You parents or grandparents almost certainly handed down values, customs, humor, and world views that played a role in shaping your growing-up environment and your life today.

Perhaps your views towards family, work, health and disease, celebrations, and social issues are influenced by your Irish heritage or by the experiences your family had when they immigrated to the U. In addition to the cultural groups we belong to, we also each have groups we identify with, such as being a parent, an athlete, an immigrant, a small business owner, or a wage worker.

They will have to support each other to stay with an effort, even when it feels discouraging.

People will have to resist the efforts of those who use divide-and-conquer techniques--pitting one cultural group against another.

Whether you are Vietnamese, African American, Caucasian Protestant, Irish Catholic, Jewish, or from any other racial, ethnic, religious, or socioeconomic group, you will probably need to establish relationships with people whose group you may know very little about. Each one of us can build relationships and friendships around ourselves that provide us with the necessary strength to achieve community goals.

If each person builds a network of diverse and strong relationships, we can come together and solve problems that we have in common. It includes groups that we are born into, such as gender, race, national origin, class, or religion.

, is key in building diverse communities that are powerful enough to achieve significant goals.

Whether you want to make sure your children get a good education, bring quality health care into your communities, or promote economic development, there is a good chance you will need to work with people from several different racial, language, ethnic, or economic groups.

And in order to work with people from different cultural groups effectively, you will need to build sturdy and caring relationships based on trust, understanding, and shared goals. Because trusting relationships are the glue that hold people together as they work on a common problem.

As people work on challenging problems, they will have to hang in there together when things get hard.