#atozchallenge: The Moral Relativism of a Global Citizen


People who are bi- or multi- lingual tend to have different personalities when they switch languages. I speak multiple languages fluently, and perhaps I have seen a difference in what I think/how I express those thoughts, but I am just one person, and anecdotes are not data.

Do people who have lived around the world have different ideas about morality and ethics? I’m not sure, but I can imagine it depends on how you lived in those countries. If you were sheltered away on a military base or in an ex-pat enclave, then your moral and ethical upbringing would be as close to your home culture as possible, or even more extreme, in some cases.

I am probably  more liberal than some people my age living in Georgia. I am probably more aware of international events because I’m able to read newspapers in multiple languages with various contexts. But is that because of my cultural upbringing or the fact that I am not part of the majority culture in the first place?  Am I more progressive because I have to think and process in multiple languages and across multiple cultures?

There is more to morality and ethics than knowing what is offensive to one culture or the other, but many times that is what it boils down to in daily discourse. It’s easy to dismiss cultural mores when they don’t match up with our own as ‘barbaric’ or ‘strange’, but it is worth it to actually look at the place it comes from and compare it to our own before dismissing it outright. – SDM


If you’d like to read my other posts in this year’s A to Z challenge, check them out here.

Photo by K Wol


  1. I probably do have different personalities in different languages, but I think that has a lot to do with I spoke my native tongue when I was young and with my close family, whereas I speak English daily for work as an adult.


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