In times past families were physically located closer together which helped strengthen connection and unity. Now families are spread across the globe. Aging parents don’t necessarily have loved ones near by to take care of them.
Our society, in general, is focused on achieving success, material wealth and individual advancement. This paradigm does not reward caring for the elderly. The elderly are seen as a nuisance, a problem to be handled and solved rather than the wisdom keepers, the pioneers, the treasure trove of support that they can be.
Grandparents can make a massive positive influence on children. This is especially needed in today’s world where many children are suffering from a lack of loving nurturing attention. Either because their parents have separated or even if together they are so busy that the children don’t get quality one on one time. Parents role model this lack of connection and this need to succeed and acquire wealth to their children who then grow and perpetuate this cycle.
What is needed and could solve this problem?
- Parents realising what their children need is their love; their time; to play; to feel special, wanted and loved. They don’t need to watch more TV or have another computer game. They don’t need junk food and hurried eating. They need time together growing food, preparing nutritious meals and connection while eating them. Be a positive role model for your children for they learn from your every move.
- Choose a simpler lifestyle so you do have time to play with and nurture your children. Listen to them, get to really know them. If you can’t do this all the time, ensure there are other people who can. This is where grandparents play a valuable role. Children need connection and ideally that connection should come from people they love and trust, not physical objects or strangers / movie stars. This is why children form gangs – for connection, for a place to belong. Help them feel like they belong at home. Let them know they are loved. Encourage them to care for self, others and the planet by role modelling this for them.
- Where the elderly are isolated it is useful for the wider community to engage with them and show them their value. Start community gardening initiatives where young people work in the yards of the elderly to grow vegetables, flowers and trees – to form connections and roots, to share the produce. Many homes are now being built on tiny little blocks and don’t have much garden space. Older homes often have larger yards and once past a certain age it is hard for people to dig the soil and do all the bending, lifting, etc that is a part of gardening. But if we work together we don’t have to loose that joy of gardening or the expertise people who have gardened for decades have. We can share and learn from each other.
- Community building initiatives such as communal gardens, such as sharing equipment like lawn mowers, whipper snippers and other tools can save the need for each family to purchase their own. This saves money and physical resources which benefits the planet. It also means you don’t have to work so hard as you don’t need to buy all the gadgets yourself.
- There’s lots of things that can be done to strengthen community cohesiveness and have fun at the same time. Get to know your neighbours, find the people who are passionate about sustainability and work together to raise awareness and make changes in your neighbourhood. By making it fun, social and engaging more people are likely to join in. We will explore this more in future posts.
For now just know that we can turn this around. We can have strong family bonds and cohesiveness. We can have community’s that care and share. We can have happiness and harmony. We just have to make the choices and take the actions to create this in the world.
From my heart to yours, Jodi-Anne