Dancing between cultures

I am in the middle of writing a thesis on how an institution can create a "third space" learning environment in which all students can excel. I am procrastinating and, as part of this process, am re-reading "A Hero of Our Time" by Lermontov in which I found the following reflection:

"I was struck by the ability of this Russian to reconcile himself to the customs of the peoples among whom he happens to live. I do not know whether this mental quality is a virtue or a vice, but it does reveal a remarkable flexibility and that sober common sense which forgives evil wherever it feels it to be necessary, or impossible to eradicate"
Mikhail Iurevich Lermontov - A Hero of Our Time

Personal experience and observation has illustrated to me that people brought up between multiple cultures do demonstrate a flexibility towards unfamiliar situations. The desire to adapt is strong, sometimes at the expense of denying your own culture (my own experience of the "vice" aspect of Lermontov's description) I am still debating on whether this cultural fluidity is a blessing or a curse but I am leaning towards the view that it creates a sensitivity to cultural difference which allows us to navigate change more easily than those with a monocultural background.

For the full text: http://gutenberg.org/ebooks/913


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