Some nations are going through a bit of an identity crisis: new information, new generations growing under the influence of extra-national cultures, old values are being undervalued in a postmodern world where values are relative and the historical circumstances that defined our nations in the past are fast disappearing or changing.
Throughout history, culture has been a tool that defines our function and role in society, collectively and individually. So when culture becomes something that no longer makes sense nor has any value in a new value-relativistic world, we feel lost, that our identity has been lost in some way. There is no cultural orientation or identity to guide us.
But now we have an opportunity in this cultural decomposition not to be defined by culture, but to define culture, to realize that humans are not just the product or karma of culture – although we are greatly influenced and conditioned by it – but that we are creators of culture. We can create our roles and functions; we are not passive components of society but active creators.
If there is an “identity crisis” it is because we, as individuals, are passively expecting something to do something for us, instead of making it for ourselves. Culture, national history etc. is the compost from which we, as self-actualised beings can grow and create a new world that doesn’t always have to be defined by the past. We are more than the past’s karma, we are seeds for the future with potential that can transcend the past.
To paraphrase the title above: humanity was not made for culture, culture was made for (and by) humanity.