What values mean can also differ across cultures. This is where having conversations, spending time with people to see what they do, and learning from them is the most productive to go beyond a mere label. Often we stop at the label.

Having “family” as a core value in Berlin might look and feel very different than in Addis Ababa or Bangkok. Or it might not. But if we are too quick with this without seeking to really understand, we have a simulation of a conversation, not an actual conversation. True understanding goes deeper, and this will likely take time.

When it works, it can provide an avenue for real deep connections about things people truly care about. And will deepen relationships, build trust and uncover what is shared in the human experience. In a time where people emphasize what separates us, these deeper conversations and understandings give hope.


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