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The noisy duck gets shot

Back when I was doing my MBA we had a presentation on diversity. The instructor identified 2 truisms to illustrate cultural differences. The aim was to show the degree to which 2 cultures could value the same thing differently.

The concerning thing for me is I am starting to feel that the truism from my non-native culture is starting to hold more meaning for me than the one from my own.

The example given related to the value of speaking up and drawing attention to something

English / American / Australian Indonesian
The squeaky wheel gets the grease The noisy duck gets shot
Diametrically opposed values to the same circumstance.

Although this example is excellent in illustrating the lecturer's point that diversity brings wider perspectives, it also had the side effect of making me wonder if the Indonesian perspective may be closer to our own current cultural position and our truism no longer applies. The moves towards:

  • political correctness,
  • condemning criticism as an act regardless of its validity, and
  • praising correct form over correct content
all seem to point towards a preference for societal conformity giving the appearance of tolerance over a genuinely open robust society.