| May 31, 2012

Staff Writer - Katrin Callender

Many of us have not yet had the privilege of bringing a child into the world. Yet there are so many who have acted as a parent to the many young ones in need that they are considered such by these children.

I am lucky to know men and women, of varied backgrounds, who have had to play the part. The responsibility is huge, yet these amazing individuals have borne it with grace and a sense of humour.

I have been a huge fan of Asian cultures, for a long time. Many of these cultures are centuries old. I am fascinated by the fact that through the efforts of citizens, archeologists and historians, it has been preserved or researched, in order to make it relevant to, or share it with our generation.

I enjoy reading up on ‘new’ archeological discoveries online or flipping through a wonderfully dusty and giant old history book. But sometimes, a Bollywood film, or a film by Zhang Yimou, whose work I adore, will attend to my need to have a taste of the beauty of either culture.

Among the many amazing attributes of these cultures is their reverence for their elders. Many believe that this concept is lost to the western cultures, but I am happy to tell them that they are wrong. Even where this perspective is not adopted by society as a whole, I can appreciate the presence of pockets of that society letting their ancestors and the senior citizens in their midst know that their contributions are recognized and appreciated.

Caribbean Chinese Family. Photo courtesy

No young person is happy when individuals of a certain age grumble that “youth is wasted on the young” or that “the world was so much nicer/ better/ safer in their day” or makes any such declaration. Granted, our advancement as a people is often defined in terms of technology of the day- technology that may be rendered obsolete in a matter of months.

Conversely, our parents, grandparents, and even great-grand parents are recognized as having led, or been involved in revolutions that altered the fate of their countrymen. True, we have witnessed or heard of atrocities committed in the last few years.

Yet the scientists and thinkers of our day strive to find solutions to our largest challenges; the artists of our day create breathtaking works that please and excite us; and the people of the world continue to build lives for themselves and contribute to the lives of their families and friends.

Human imagination and our ability to love endure, and with it we can be certain that we will make strides that will give generations to come numerous reasons to be proud. As we grow, we learn- often with the help of parents or adult figures who guide us. We will likely play this role for a young one in our life, whether kin or not.  This is one of the most beautiful aspects of human society. We may forget to send Mother’s Day greetings, or Father’s Day greetings to those who have helped to get us to where we are. But I choose to remember and to celebrate parents, guardians and concerned citizens, every day!

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Category: Culture & Society

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