Sharing and Caring

Generation Y caricatureWe have all noticed that human communication and relationships seem to be deteriorating – the rate of divorce is still on the rise, bullying is a worldwide phenomenon and the point of discussion everywhere, young people are staying single longer or choosing not to have kids and let’s not get started on customer service. Things are bad and we know it.

But why is that?

It just so happens that this week, I have had a few opportunities to think about this and I would like to share these thoughts with you.

When I was growing up, I was told to be polite and considerate. My parents thought about what others would think about the way I dressed, the way I combed my hair, how I spoke, the grades I got and many other things. They looked me over and made sure I was presentable before I went out the door.

It was all about others.

And my parents were not the only ones. My friends were also taught to respect others, especially adults, to be kind and to play well with friends. Fairness was a big thing for us and we always had to be fair, whatever that meant.

Even when I spent 6 months as an exchange student in the USA, I saw a similar approach to community and manners that I had back home. Thinking of how our actions and words affect others was required everywhere and by everyone, sometimes along with guilt feelings if we were not as considerate as another person wanted us to be.

We had to get special permission to think of ourselves.

Then came the personal development movement, attachment parenting, mass media and the Internet.

Read more about how to have good family relationships

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