The topic of the abstract is the essential fostering (educational) and cultural dimensions in the process of devotion and self-sacrifice. Thus, we intend to clarify the points through responding to such questions as: What is the relation between culture and devotion and self-sacrifice? Which cultural feature or features will fulfill devotion and which are as barriers against it in the society? Is it possible to disturb and destroy the society culture abruptly to strengthen the devoted people? What is the culture in essence and how it will be formed, spread and transformed? Are there any institutions to form the culture and do they have any role to transforming it? If so, what are these institutions? And how will the cultural transformation be accomplished? What are the relevant procedures and finally what are the real circumstances of the nations in this respect? Is the ruling culture of our society appropriate for development of devotion culture? If not, in which ways the appropriate cultural features can be prepared? The last thing is that; where is our society position in relation to cultural development and what is its exact phase? Considering the above mentioned points, our discussion will be exposed to the following aspects:
1. The meaning of the culture features 2. The Definition of the culture 3. The Software & hardware culture 4. The Functions of the culture 5. The Origin(source)of the culture 6. The features of the culture 7. The personal features of development and devotion 8. The society features as reinforcing factor 9. The cultural preventive factors for devotion and self-sacrifice 10. The policy and executive procedures for cultural transformation The meaning of the culture features(characteristics) Culture is not merely a set of customs, traditions and various life styles. Instead, it is an organized system consisting of behaviors and general ways of living of a group or groups of People. Cultural elements such as habits, traditions, beliefs, values(worth) and shared (common) human being viewpoints are connected and correlated with each other by culture and as a matter of fact it creates the society identity.(BRAWN 1995) On the basis of sociology literature for defining the culture, two terms as EDUCATION and CULTURE have been focused simultaneously so due to definition the term, CULTURE, which is differ from EDUCATION the scholars and experts must be fully concentrated. EDUCATION: Here the term means: education and fostering, wisdom, art, science and the whole existing phenomena of human being civilization. Within the scope of the definition, Mankind will be compared to mankind .In this regard the extent of his prosperity towards science and civilization should be also considered. CULTURE : It means the combination of values, norms, traditions and customs while the features are vary from each other in different mankind societies .Within the scope of the definition mankind will be compared to animals(LINTON 1951) The definition of culture There have been many definitions about culture that exceed 160 definitions. Some of these definitions have general significance and some other give us a special significance of this term. One of the very first relatively comprehensive definitions of culture was given by “E.B.Taylor”? in 1871 (Homayoon, 1358). This English Anthropologist believed that culture consists of a complex set of science, knowledge, arts, thoughts, beliefs, rules and regulations, customs, traditions, and briefly, all learning and habits a human being acquires as a member of the society. According to “Summer,”? the American sociologist, culture is a collection of customs, traditions, and social foundations. Spenser calls culture as the metaphysic environment of human in his book “Sociology principles”? and tries to separate culture from physical and natural factors. He believed that the metaphysic environment is specified to human, while, human shares other environment (Natural and physical) with animals. (Mohseni, 1375). Maybe, it is necessary to present different definitions of culture in order to getting an exact definition of this intangible and mental phenomenon. We can find a common point from the above definitions and it is a series of beliefs and opinions combined together in human directing his unconscious. According to “Edgar Shine,”? the layer of products and inventions has occupied the basic values and theories of human being. (Edgar Shine, 1987) Hardware culture and software culture Some of sociologists have given a different category of culture called hardware and software cultures and specified two basic aspects for it. 1. Hardware culture includes tools and entities being made and left. 2. Software culture includes customs, beliefs, science, and arts that are generally produced by languages and script. A child is firstly introduced with the hardware culture that are things and tools each one having a specific meaning, and after his mental growth, he is acquainted with the non-hardware culture that are abstract definitions like morality, race, rank, customs…and accepts them. The influence of these two aspects in people’s personalities is undeniable. For instance, in invention of precision devices like clocks, computers, and microprocessors, people have become sensitive to the time and place consciously or unconsciously because of the contact that they have with these tools. Measuring has found a particular meaning, and practically, have risen particular social behaviors followed by new cultural phenomena. In addition, every invention and innovation in the hardware culture like machine invention or technological improvements will result in a change in the software culture. Then, material and spiritual aspects are affecting each other and being affected from each other in return. From the other hand, some of software cultural beliefs also cause the hardware cultural phenomena. For example, in preliminary societies, or even urban societies of the present time, believing in unseen powers keeping and saving human beings’ life and wealth has made people of these societies carry tools or install them above their houses entries like evil eyes blockers, mysteries, rings, necklaces, and bracelets as signs of the hardware culture to be safe from those unseen powers. Any way, finding the cross point of the hardware and software cultures in a society are very important in order to exploiting it for extending, completing, or even, correcting the society. Culture functions Culture has special functions, which are called “Human morality.”? Culture defines what structure families should have; a man is allowed to marry how many wives, and whether the relation before a marriage is considered as a preparing phase for marriage or it is something contrary to morality. Culture makes some regulations for socializing and caring children. It defines when children should be stopped from sucking milk, how they should be bring up, and how much they should have independence. Culture creates an education system and defines what a child should do or not to do. Culture provides values for a child to distinguish his right or wrong and be able to choose goals for himself in future. Culture is something that: 1. It is transferred from one generation to another 2. It has a accumulated state 3. It moves from one place to another 4. It selects accepting or keeping things 5. It has a complex nature Culture has the following functions: 1. Socializing people 2. Education 3. Right or wrong values 4. Social surveillance 5. Norms, customs, and traditions 6. Beliefs and opinions 7. Family life system Birthplace of culture Answering the question that from where culture is fed, where its birthplace is, how values, traditions, and customs are formed, we can introduce five factors as follows which sociologists give. They are language, literature, religion, economy, history, events, geography and surroundings. In fact, culture is formed among five above factors, selects what it wills, and makes it. Culture features 1. Culture is learnable: Culture must be learnt from others. Culture is, in fact, the human’s geographical, local, and biological heritage. Human must learn the culture of the place in which he lives and he should teach it to his children. 2. Culture is satisfactory: every part of the culture remaining in the society provides satisfaction. In addition, everyone who acts according to accepted norms and values of the society; he feels satisfaction and is satisfied. 3. Culture creates unity and integrity: Culture makes everyone living in a territory behave the same. Based on this, culture creates unity and integrity. 4. Culture is a social thing: Culture is created in groups. In fact, according to this definition, culture is not formed in void. There must be a group of people to form culture and reinforce it. 5. Culture is a mental thing: most of cultural conceptions are not capable of execution and are only in human beings’ mind and imagination. According to this, culture is something residing in human’s mind and conception. Even, it cannot be experimented like science. 6. Culture brings adaptability: culture has the feature of self-adaptation. If a culture is located somewhere, it tries o adapt the environment with itself. It does not resist against changes and it is flexible more. Of course, it should be mentioned that a traditional culture resists against changes more than developed culture, but the developed culture has more adaptability toward changes comparing to the traditional one. According to the writer, all problems and issues in social, economical, and political fields are caused by a more important factor called culture. In fact, the theory of this essay is based on that the lack of intellectual background and suitable view is the main and fundamental reason of problems and issues. There is a relation between cultural beliefs (i.e. internal and accepted values and beliefs) and sacrifice. Then, in order to making any change in the mentioned field, we should firstly create the intellectual changes leading to new and sacrificing human (A human who is, according to scientists, independent, competent, interested in long-term planning, believing in changeability of the world, and more important than all, being sure of his abilities in making changes). In the opposite, a traditional non-sacrificing embarrassed human is suspicious, lacks high flying, and tends to immediate and conservative needs. In this case, we can say that extension does not begin with material goods, but it begins with human beings and optimizing them. It aims a kind of human who is fundamentally established on cultural heritage. Experiences of some successful countries express exactly this fact. Now, I repeat the question being asked by open-minded people, writers, and politicians during the past 150 years for a thousand times. What can we do to make a developed Iran? The first and important question is defining the problem. After we reach a communion about the problem, we can start treatment. If a doctor does not distinguish a disease well and does not study about it enough, he cannot prescribe a medicine and start treating. We still suffer the crisis of distinguishing the subject and issue of development. Our problem is a combination of crisis and illogical thoughts. The biggest service a manager, thinker, president, and a member of parliament can do for Iran and Iranian people is trying to change personalities. A responsible, committed, just, workaholic, faithful, away from struggles, having belonging to his country, appreciating, criticizable, anti-propaganda, self-confident, self-centered, taciturn, modest, and self-aware Iranian man welcomes moderate thoughts forever. Personality is prior to thoughts. Personality needs education and nobility. Thoughts are changeable. Family, religion, and economical health play a key role in creating personality. Moderate personality brings behavioral consistence. Human beings are known by their personalities rather their thoughts. Human beings’ thoughts are fluid, but their personalities are constant. (Sari ol ghalam, 1380) Here, without talking about academic definitions of extension and sacrifice, we point at the most important personal and social features of development and sacrifice according to performed studies about indices of development and general and common standards of development. Reviewing these features, which are categorized in two groups of personal and social features, are as follows: A. Personal features of development and sacrifice 1. Internal preparation to accept new experiences 2. Flexibility toward changes and talent for innovation 3. Independence of opinion 4. Criticizability 5. Believing in freedom of thought and action 6. Avoiding imitation while respecting others’ thoughts 7. Being constantly after new thoughts 8. Being collectivist and believing in group work 9. Learning from past and living in the present world 10. Having high spirit to experience, do trial and error, and risk 11. Not fearing from scientific mistake and doubt 12. Being workaholic and taciturn 13. Loving hometown and home country 14. Hoping to life 15. Believing in organization and order 16. believing in law 17. Being aware and conscious as well as escaping superstition 18. Centralizing logic and rationalism in affairs 19. Having high power of selection and decision-making 20. Having high self-confidence and believing in one’s resolution 21. Controlling psychological and mental excitements 22. Knowing the world as countable and predictable as well as avoiding fatalism 23. Thinking world wide and escaping self-centrism 24. Avoiding bias, prejudgment, and barbaric stubbornness 25. Being justice seeker and aware of one’s personal and social rights 26. believing in planning everything 27. Being responsible and dutiful B. features of a developed society fortifying the sacrifice culture 1. High level of public literacy and knowledge 2. Specialization of social tasks and responsibilities 3. Activity of people’ cooperation in private section 4. The least interference from government in culture, economy, and politics 5. Pleasant level of health 6. Transparency of the power structure and selected people’s circulation 7. The responsible political system 8. High index of social and economical security 9. Democracy and free election 10. Low growth of population 11. Dynamic education system 12. Giving priority to national interests 13. passing through provision of the primary needs and organization of livelihood 14. High level of production, per capita income, and productive economy 15. High social and political participation 16. High index of public trust 17. Free circulation of information 18.The system of just distribution of facilities and social opportunities Considering above features, the important point is that the resultant of all these features that provide the suitable background of the sacrifice and altruism culture somewhat forms the index of Life Quality. The level of life quality will be measurable according to the level of society’s benefit from these features. Blocking factors of the sacrifice and altruism culture There is a point that should be explained about the blocking factors and it is that, today; we are faced with accumulated wrong traditions in the society. Such a thing is not related the religion. If we refer to our religious texts, we see that the religious thought severely encourages sacrifice, scientific thinking…. Here, we should make a distinction between definite religious principles and accumulated wrong traditions in society, culture, and politics found in the society. Then, there is a contradiction between these wrong insufficient factors and traditions and the sacrifice and devotion culture in the society. Cultural problems of the society, i.e. accumulated wrong traditions, does not let the sacrifice culture be formed in its general meaning in the society. Here, I briefly explain the following. In fact, the national culture can be divided into two parts, first, the religious culture, and second, the accumulated historical culture. Our main problem originates in the accumulated historical culture that does not let us move in the line of sacrifice and devotion. Guidelines and executive policies of cultural change As we said before, wrong traditions of Iranian society are not suitable for sacrifice and altruism. This culture must be changed and this change must be performed while keeping independent and cultural identity of the country. Now, how should this change happen and how the country’s planning can accelerate this change? Culture, in our mentioned definition and in the meaning of a collection of opinions relatively accepted by most of people, expresses in fact people’s personalities. It is obvious that we should determine where our children and teens are in the period of their personality formation in order to planning the cultural change. Children and teens spend most of their time at home or school. In this period, they model their teachers, fathers, and mothers. Culture formation to extend the sacrifice culture needs we act correctly at home and school and enter the period of modeling seriously in these places. In developed countries’ education, paying attention to growth is more than education. In other words, growing a human personality and creating positive personal features is more important than raw materials being transmitted to students. In growth aspect, emphasis is on educating an independent personality. In the preliminary period, there are lessons and methods trying to minimize children’s excitements and feelings. They are methods in which children are instructed to know phenomena by calmness, logic, precision, and prudence. They are learned how to study peripheral events and regulate their relations with others to make use of facts. Growth is relied on educating an independent human, a human who can form his own life while he may use others counseling as well. It is obvious that if we are after creating the sacrifice culture, one of places that should be focused on severely and strongly is Primary and Guidance Schools. Here, we have to invest, specify resources, manipulate compassionate work force in schools, and satisfy teachers’ needs and their need of instruction. We have to change schools to places to which children rush eagerly. We have to manipulate the best people of the country to edit books of the primary school and provide instructional auxiliary tools for schools.