i-Pod: The Ultimate Multicultural Tool

Like probably many of you, I like to exercise while tethered to an i-Pod.

On a run this morning, music on my i-Pod shuffled through different genres of music, and each had a different effect on me.  It’s a wonderful feeling to be on a morning run with the sounds of U2, Bon Jovi, Gypsy Kings, Mozart, and Javier Solis all playing in my head. I know what you’re thinking – what a cool playlist!  

Everyone in our family adds music to our i-Pod. My wife, who is Italian-Hungarian-French, has added her assortment of music ranging from Deaf Leopard to ABBA… I do like most it. : )  I’ve added my combination of Rock, Latin, Jazz, Classical, and eclectic songs from different countries. My kids still have their favorite Christmas songs on there – hard to sweat while you’re running with Winter Wonderland slamming in your head!

I realized somewhere during the first couple miles that an i-Pod really does serve as a multicultural medium. It serves as a place and time in my day where cultures unite in song. Why not? Definitions of multiculturalism vary. But at its core, we need to remember that culuture is not something we’re born with – it’s not genetic. Culture is learned. It’s learned through interaction, collaboration, and contribution.

And just like some of us speak more than one language, we also share more than one culture by interacting with diverse groups of people. I will be the first to admit that I sound extraordinarily naïve to think that empathy, acceptance, and understanding are possible in a world that today seems fractured on so many levels. However, there’s at least a place, one unlikely place, one instrument, where everything is right with the world.