How can we avoid "Eurocentric" thinking? Are we guilty of "American-centric" thinking at times?

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Eurocentric-thinking entails centering the history and current-day context of (particularly Western) Europe and European culture in relation to the rest of the world. European colonizers, for centuries, have used Eurocentric-thinking to justify forced or coerced conversion to Christianity and European customs. This thinking ushered in the colonialism of Manifest Destiny...

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Eurocentric-thinking entails centering the history and current-day context of (particularly Western) Europe and European culture in relation to the rest of the world. European colonizers, for centuries, have used Eurocentric-thinking to justify forced or coerced conversion to Christianity and European customs. This thinking ushered in the colonialism of Manifest Destiny and poems such as Rudyard Kipling's "The White Man's Burden." While Christian European evangelicals of today who travel in ministry throughout the Global South don't necessarily use violence to force people to convert, critics point out that the paternalistic belief that non-European non-Christians are in need of "saving" is rooted in the violence of colonization.

Avoiding such thinking means being open to perspectives from around the globe, and not centering European custom and belief as inherently more correct or better than non-European thinking and practices.

American-centric thinking certainly exists. The United States has obtained superpower status through the genocide of Indigenous people, enslavement, colonization, and being at war for most of its existence as a nation-state. While the US incarcerates more people than any other nation in the world, has a healthcare system that is not accessible to poor people, and is entrenched with systemic oppression, the US government prides itself on leading a "free country" (while many Americans pride themselves on being citizens of that country) and supposedly securing that freedom for other peoples and nations around the world. An argument could certainly be made that this kind of American-centric thinking ignores both the historical context and present-day reality of the nation's harmful policies, practices, and dominant cultural norms.

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