Turkey and the US, an analytical look at common values
Hillary Clinton is being treated for pneumonia, which led to her abrupt exit from a 9/11 event. But apparently she will get back on the campaign trail in three days instead of listening to her doctor’s advice to rest for five days.
Now, this is one of the dreadful common values of the United States: America doesn’t like the weak.
America’s common value is energy, success, victory and to smile as if you are in a toothpaste commercial.
And in such a country, if you are holding an important position you do not have the right to have pneumonia.
I am much younger than her, at her daughter’s age. If I had pneumonia, I would not get up for at least a month. But things would not go that far anyway. Someone from the family would have realized the flu was getting worse and force me to go to bed and cook me soup. If I were a CEO, the owner of a company, if I were the president, people would say, “Go rest, is there anything more precious than you?” Because “health has priority over everything” in these lands. Had Hillary been a Turk, there would be at least a neighbor giving advice on the medicine she needs to take or a relative offering a cup of tea.
We have interesting concepts of empathy, for instance. The “would you like if your wife or daughter was subjected to this treatment?” or “how would you feel if dirt was tracked into your courtyard?” types of family scenarios are sufficient for empathy.
One exception! No empathy for singles. You send him or her food, feel pity for him or her and encourage them to marry as soon as possible. Because family is probably our most indestructible common value. You can understand that from the fact that we think things can get done easily if we call an ordinary person on the street uncle or aunt.
The covered bazaars are our common values. In several cities there are covered bazaars from the Ottoman times. So, as we are the nation who invented shopping malls, we don’t leave it. And no matter where you are, a shopkeeper won’t let you go without offering you tea. Refusing to drink tea in a meeting is like burning a bridge. Drinking tea together is the first sign of intimacy; it is about breaking the ice and getting to know each other.
The critical benchmark is hosting dinner at home. Sometimes we complain about “how can he do that to me, someone who had eaten in my home, sat at my table?” At the end of the day, it’s a table with some food. No sir! We had dinner at home. In other words, a relationship where you should do no wrong has started; a kind of family bond was established!
The theory of six degrees of separation contends that, because we are all linked by chains of acquaintance, you are just six introductions away from any other person on the planet. In other words, if the farmer in a forgotten town of Turkey finds the right six persons he can find out he is an acquaintance to Madonna. We are 79 million people, if we were to find six persons who have established that link of “having been hosted at a home dinner,” and have had that family-like bond established, then we become a huge big family anyway!