Think back for a moment on all the things you have done in the course of your lifetime. How many of them did you come up with on your own, and how many of them did you learn to do through imitating others? Initially, I would guess that you're inclined to put the majority of your past activities in the former category of the self-invented, with only a few simple behaviors defined as imitations. But I'd like to encourage you to rethink that assumption, and to recognize the overwhelming role that imitation actually plays in shaping the way you—and all other humans—behave.
First of all, consider language. Admittedly it's true that as we emerge from infancy our specific utterances cease to be mere copycat repetitions of whatever we're hearing (say "ma-ma") and become (for the most part) novel constructions uniquely appropriate to our immediate circumstances (whether those involve writing a blog post, proposing marriage, or begging our mom for another cookie). But the words from which we compose these constructions (in addition to the grammatical rules which structure their composition, and indeed the very notion of using speech—rather than gesture, drawing, or other means—to communicate) were learned through imitation of others, who in turn learned these things through imitating others who came before them. In addition, our speech is littered with pre-fabricated phrases we have collected through observation and repetition, which range from common figures of speech ("it's just a hop, skip, and a jump away") to the formulaic terms of transition with which even this paragraph itself teems (like "first of all" and "in addition," neither of which, I hate to break it to you (and there's another!) I came up with on the spot).
But the list of imitated activities extends far beyond our use of language. Take a moment to ask yourself why you wear the clothes you do and not garments in any number of alternate forms of equal (or even greater) comfort and functionality—or, for that matter, why you wear clothes at all. Did you wake up one morning, naked and slightly chilly, and decide, "Hm, I think I'll go weave myself some fabric and sew it into a sweatshirt"? My guess is that the answer is no. Rather, people began dressing you before you had any say in the matter, and then as you grew up you noted that people around you generally wore clothes of a particular sort, and you chose particular models of clothing-wearing to imitate.
Using these two examples, reconsider your previous assessment of the proportion of self-invented to imitated behaviors within your own personal repertoire. In fact, try to think of even one thing you have done which was entirely initiated by you, and in no way based on anything you have observed or heard of someone else doing. If you can come up with something, please leave it as a comment—it will be my anthropological challenge to find an element of imitation hidden within whatever you propose.
Note that when I talk about imitation, I am including not only things you learned to do by watching others unconscientiously perform these activities in your presence, but also things that you were actively taught—teaching being, in my opinion, merely a mechanism humans have developed in order to facilitate improved imitation. Any scenario in which the idea to do something comes, not from your own independent and spontaneous invention, but from some recreation or recombination of behavioral elements you have become acquainted with through the activities of others, falls under "the imitated" in my current definition.
I am not arguing that humans are not creative, nor that there is not something impressive, exciting, and meaningful in the ways that humans recombine what they have observed in others into constructions novel in content if not in concept. All I am pointing out is that the majority of what we do, as humans, comes from copying (and then building upon) what others before us have already done. This is not a weakness or failure of humanity. Rather, I consider it one of our species' greatest strengths. (And in saying that I am not denying that other species possess such imitative abilities, though some would like to call that claim into question. I am merely noting that human behavior happens to be strongly characterized by the impulse to imitate.)
This ubiquitous inclination to imitate serves as the first of the two definitions of "culture" which I will employ in my discussions of the anthropology of the everyday. Anything humans do because some other human showed them how is a "cultural" activity. Given your newfound awareness of just how many of the things we do involve some element of imitation, you may at this point be objecting, "But that means that almost everything anybody does is cultural!" That is precisely my point, and the reason that I find the anthropology of the everyday to be such a fascinating subject of study.
For those wondering about the purpose of creating a definition broad enough to encompass practically every aspect of human behavior, my justification involves two claims, which I will merely state at the moment, but hope to more concretely illustrate as I make use of the definition in subsequent articles. Claim 1: Even if this definition applies to almost everything we do, it highlights an aspect of those activities which is often hidden. And claim 2: The fact that much of what we do is learned or imitated from others has important implications and ramifications, which it will benefit us to recognize more overtly.