Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Aging: The Power of Many Cultures

We’re living in a community where there is a mix of cultural identities. There seems to be an intellectual awareness that other groups exist, but in many ways, we are segregated. We have a unique opportunity to learn from each other and solve some of the economic and social problems we face. Many senior adults have the time, social network, resources and compassion to create more unity in the community. The benefits are huge.
Develop new friendships with community members from other countries. I was born in Liberia, West Africa. I sometimes cook with palm oil, a red oil, and cassava, our version of the potato. It’s typical to refer to older adults as auntie or uncle, and it’s socially acceptable to always have your home ready and open for use by others. Older adults have taught me many life lessons, including how to practice hospitality Idaho style, and how to build long-term friendships. We didn’t learn these lessons from one another during multicultural days or in a classroom. This knowledge came from sharing meals and sharing our lives.
Give one more reason for your children to stay. Some young adults leave and never look back due to economic reasons. Another reason is that they want a chance to experience life with people from diverse backgrounds. It’s not enough to have different cultures present. They want them interacting with one another in meaningful ways. For example, they want their children to attend regularly scheduled playgroups with children from other cultures. They want to launch businesses, or work on global initiatives with individuals and families from other countries
Read more about the power of many cultures

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