Have you ever wondered if there is a way to move out of your own cultures, into a place of total peace with yourself? Have you ever thought about whether or not it is possible to find some sort of good principle or moral absolute above culture? Well, whether Wilbur Sargunaraj has done that or not, those who follow him would say that he is perhaps closer than others to being beyond ethnicity.
Or at least that is what the Ottawa Citizen reported this week in a recent article regarding our dear Wilbur. “I think Wilbur transcends ethnicity,” says Jantine Van Kregten, a spokeswoman for Ottawa Tourism.* But is it possible to transcend ethnicity technically? Or is it something about Wilbur Sargunaraj that makes us feel like it is possible at some level?
While perhaps it is impossible for a person to fully transcend culture, it is clear that Wilbur is well on his way to doing so. It appears that his grasp of his own culture, is one of the key ingredients allowing him to move into other cultures so seamlessly. However, he seems to use his culture not as something to hide behind, but as a point of connection to engage with the other cultures he interacts with.
When I recently talked to Wilbur about this quote, he was quick to reply that he was humbled by it. And if you follow Wilbur at all, this guy continuously says how humbled he is to be doing what he is doing. I think it would be possible to say that this is the humblest guy I have ever personally met. And perhaps that is why he is so isocultural?
Isoculturalism is about being humble. It is not about telling people who you are, but asking them who they are. Wilbur is always quick to move away from talking about himself and engaging with other people. For him, it is more important to discuss others, than himself. This humility of his is amazing.
Too often we think humility equals a lack of confidence or power. But if you have had the privilege to meet Wilbur, you know that confidence is oozing out of this guy. And he has shown clearly that through his care for others, he is gaining global power by the day. Perhaps humility is the key.
While Wilbur is still just a man, and he must have struggles of his own, it is in his humility that he is able to do what he does. It is through his peace that somehow he connects with others on a level beyond ethnicity. This is clear act of isoculturalism. He continually puts others above himself. This great leader is continually showing us that leading the world comes from love for others, and knowing who you are. We applaud you Wilbur, and to us, you have hit on something truly beyond ethnicity.