I grew up in a Filipino household where “respect for our elders” was ingrained. I didn’t realize that this was unique and part of the air we breathed until others would comment on it. It’s common among Filipinos to address elders with a title, whether that be “Sir” or “Manang” (“older female” in Tagalog). And Filipinos are often found in service industries, such as healthcare and hospitality.
Because there is some danger in blanket respect for anyone in power I’ve processed through this over my adult years. Therefore, I now know that genuine due respect communicates deeply to the elder and also to the community.
Blue Zones: Inter-generations
We at illumine are fascinated by the Blue Zones, global areas with a greater concentration of people who live into old age. After attending AFEST I extended my stay to do some ethnographic research in the Blue Zone of Sardinia, Italy.
Interestly, one of the things I distinctly remember noticing were grandparents holding hands with teenage grandkids. I also noted local elderly couples holding hands while walking around the city. And multi-generations of families regularly gathered in small Sardinian city centers.
One of the characteristics of Blue Zones is engagement with grandparents and aging parents. This includes living near-by or in the same home.
I love this Macklemore video. It reminds us that anytime is a great time to show a grandparent or any other elder some love. Watch and get inspired. Maybe even do a little dance!
Learn more about characteristics in Blue Zones. Consider how small life changes and a new approach to living can make a difference not only in the number of years you live, but the quality of life you are living.
We came across this site, Death over Dinner, which is a planning tool for gathering to discuss a traditionally taboo topic. This can be with friends and family, or perhaps your spiritual community. The planning tools help to shift the conversation towards how we want to die, but more importantly allowing profound consideration on how we want to live.
From Abraham Lincoln: And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.