This is what one has to face in order to buy a ticket at a train station in Japan. To me it seems quite… complex. Not only because I don’t read Japanese, but because of the entire display, the diagrams, the colors, the many apparently different machines and options. Hopefully it is just a cultural issue, and I imagine that for a Japanese, choosing a destination and buying a ticket is something obvious, and simple.

It makes me think about the importance of our cultural filters, the ways in which we perceive ourselves, other people and the world around us. Knowing we all have our own filters, how can we establish a clear and flowing communication when meeting a different culture, a different paradigm, and people who will filter and interpret our words and actions according to their own perceptions? How not to presuppose, not to interpret the emotions, thoughts and intentions of a foreigner according to our own culture?

The only answer I have is that we need first to be conscious of this challenge, and then we should want to address it with patience, tolerance and empathy. Easy? No. Possible?… yes, of course!