Marlene Louis Blyden grew up in a large nuclear family in Coulibistrie, Dominica but migrated to the United States and is now tapping into the experiences of living in both countries for her new book “Perception Vs Reality in Culture.”
She said she uses satire (not so much sarcasm), and some levity, to help paint a clearer picture of those experiences and observations of specific aspects of human nature and behavior found in these two cultures.
According to Blyden, the book is geared to the general reading public but would be of great assistance to persons who have recently migrated to the US. She said one of the main goals of the book is to help readers take a few moments and see themselves through someone else’s eyes.
“The reader’s initial reaction may be, ‘Why should I care about others’ perceptions of me?’ On the flip side, the author asks, ‘Why should they care about your perceptions of them?’” She explains, “You see, in a civilized society, our attitudes and behaviors affect each other. The old saying is still true, ‘No one is an island.’”
She continues, “No one chose their family of origin, ethnicity, culture or country of birth. Therefore, the onus is on each individual to make the best of their given circumstances. It is OK to hang on to the positive, and let go of the negative aspects of your upbringing. Likewise, when you find yourself residing in a new country/culture you do not have to adopt all attitudes and behaviors you see practiced there. People are people no matter their circumstances or country of origin. If a decent person or someone who is working toward becoming a better human being reaches out to you, do not turn away. Help them if you can.”
Blyden attended the Coulibistrie Primary School and St. Joseph Secondary School. She has a BA in Psychology and MA in Counseling, specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy. She plans to earn a doctorate in Clinical Psychology. She is the author of “My Daughter and Me: Laughing all the Way” and plans to release another book, “Maintaining a Stable Marriage in a Changing Culture,” in the near future.
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