At least once a day, you’ll see someone (often an HR executive or neighborhood activist / gatekeeper) implore others to preserve their culture. To freeze the ever-shifting sand of local values, attitudes, preferences, and rituals in their current state: glorious, vibrant, distinct (affordable, funky, English-speaking, authentic, etc., etc.).
Astute observers of history realize that cultural preservation is impossible.
That is because a culture is changed by the efforts to preserve it.
As a result, if you find yourself upset about the changing culture of your environment, you have the following options:
- Change yourself to align with the new culture’s values (i.e. assimilation; easy, sometimes soul deadening).
- Move to a different environment (i.e. change jobs, neighborhoods, etc; also easy, but impermanent).
- Assemble and segregate a group of people that shares your devotion to the disappearing culture (i.e. create a culture ghetto; easy, impermanent, usually results in radicalization)
- Declare yourself defender of your culture and harass change agents into leaving (poisonous, ultimately futile; most common choice)
- Start a new culture (most difficult; most rewarding)
The choice is yours.