Experiencing the Heart of Culture

Music, food, art, science, storytelling all help us to understand ourselves, each other, and our environment, through head and heart. This is culture. Yo-Yo Ma, cellist 

Renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma recently played outdoor concerts in Laredo, Texas and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. His intention was to highlight the connection between the two countries, regardless of current border politics. Ma believes that culture turns “the other” into us. It does this through trust, imagination, and empathy. 

Ma says he used believe that culture needs a seat at the table, an equal part in our economic and political conversation. Ma has changed his mind. “I now believe that culture is the ground on which everything else is built. It is where the global and local, rural and urban, present and future confront one another.” He’s putting his belief into action. His recent performances were part of an ongoing project. He’s playing Johann Sebastian Bach’s six Cello Suites in thirty-six countries around the world in an effort to unite us all. 

Affirmation: I will use culture to embrace those who I perceive to be different.

Coaching questions: How can you use music, food, art, science or storytelling to understand yourself and others? What has been your experience of culture? If you see it as “high brow” or something foreign to you, are you willing to rethink this position and see it through the eyes of Yo-Yo Ma?



Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash

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