Sunday, October 1, 2017

Wise Words Your Mother Might Have Taught You - Week 1

Carry your mother's bags; she carried you for nine months.

How does the world treat its elderly?

Eastern cultures (like China's) adhere to the Confucian tradition of "filial piety," which prioritizes the family unit and values elders with the utmost respect. In fact, China recently passed a law ("Elderly Rights Law") that wags a finger at adult children, warning them to "never neglect or snub elderly people" and mandating that they visit their elderly parents often, regardless of how far away they live.

Korea: Not only do they respect the elderly, but they also celebrate them. For Koreans, the 60th and 70th birthdays are prominent life events, which are commemorated with large-scale family parties and feasts.

Like other Asian cultures, the Japanese prize filial piety and expect children to dutifully tend to their parents.

What about France? This country passed a similar decree protecting the elderly in 2004. It requires citizens to keep in touch with their geriatric parents. Two horrific studies prompted this decree: 1. France had the highest pensioner suicide rate in Europe at the time, and, 2. A heat wave killed 15,000 people, most elderly, and many had been dead for weeks before they were found.

Mediterranean and Latin cultures place similar priorities on family. In both cultures, its common for multiple families to life under one roof where the elderly often care for young children while the parents work outside the home.

Which brings me to Western cultures and the impetus for this post. I recently read an article about a woman in a nursing home that complained of continual earaches. Upon her son's insistence, a physician was called in only to discover a spider had crawled into the poor woman's ear and planted eggs.

Further reading about our senior citizens and how they're cared for in our country were disappointing. Western cultures tend to be youth-centric, emphasizing attributes like individualism and independence. According to a noted Anthropologist who has studied the treatment of the elderly across all cultures, he claims the geriatric in U.K. and U.S. often live "lonely lives separated from their children and lifelong friends." As their health deteriorates, the elderly in these cultures often move to assisted living facilities, and nursing homes without a single family member residing with them.

I think we can do better. How about you? Leave a comment below; let us know how you think we can take better care of our beloved geriatric family members.

In my full-length novel Land of Falling Stars, the heroine, Sophia Whitfield, has lost both of her parents. Civil War has ravaged the Nation and she's doing her best to maintain her cherished childhood plantation (and keeping Yankees at bay). Trying to survive one day at a time, she waits for the return of her fiance and her best friend, both of whom have gone off to war.

Only one man returns home, and he carries a secret so horrific, he knows Sophia will hate him forever once he tells her what happened on that bloody battlefield.  

Raves for Land of Falling Stars:"Wow! Land of Falling Stars is one of those books I wish I could give more than 5 stars. This book is one giant roller coaster of events and emotions and I enjoyed every minute of it."

"A love story that will make you laugh, cheer and cry. Definitely a must read!! Five Stars."

"Why?! Why did it have to end? Recommend highly. 10 stars. This is what romance is all about!!"

"If you love the Civil War and you want some hot smexy action with intrigue and yes a few hair pulling moments(in a good way) please, I beg you to go get this book. It's so worth it!"

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