Compliments of Jason Mrachina via Flickr

Compliments of Jason Mrachina via Flickr

In U.S. culture “rugged individualists” are engaged in a battle against peers, trying to get as much for themselves as they possibly can. The “no guts no glory,” “I want my piece of the pie,” “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” “me first” mentality has resulted in a contentious association between persons. Evidence of this lies in the proliferation of our legal system, in which a sue-happy society has spawned a plethora of commercials that promote the personal benefits of attorneys, including but not limited to maximizing one’s payout.

The perspective on “getting” at the expense of other people (and existing in opposition to them) has encouraged U.S. graduates to obtain JDs – we have in this country for example 17X more lawyers per capita than in Japan.  In her book “Frequency: the Power of Personal Vibration” Peirce notes that the subconscious fabric of Japanese people is different; she describes the resonance she experienced as “an ocean of fluid awareness.” While there she felt submerged in an unseen interconnection in which she could “feel” other people, one in which on some fundamental level she was a part of them, enabling her to sense their state of being more immediately than if she had remained solely in her own individualistic paradigm.

And that was why the Japanese placed such a high priority on saving face – it hurt everyone when one person was ridiculed or made uncomfortable.” Highly attuned individuals (because they are aware of others’ feelings) are less likely to hurt them in the first place. According to Peirce, human connectivity in Japan was something palpable, and empathy was an emotion that was simply implied. The related concept of corporate communalism – in which family structure is superimposed on work – stems from this interweaving of oneness.

Related posts:
Infographic: The lawsuit happy nation
Eight ways to save face for someone else

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All viewpoints expressed by Jackie Gilbert are her own, and not of her employer.

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