As the parent of a seven year old, I’ve been enamored with the concept of “intentional parenting.” The essence of this philosophy is to think about the type of person you want your child to be when they become an adult and to give them age appropriate responsibilities to support their development. I, for one, am committed to raising a global citizen who has an appreciation for other cultures, languages, perspectives, and lifestyle choices.
I was exposed to traveling at a very early age and was always deeply appreciative that my parents expanded my horizons and perspectives through global travel. I’m sure my mom wasn’t completely surprised when I told her I had bought a one-way ticket to New Zealand and wasn’t sure when I would be back. And, sure enough, after two years of traveling out of a backpack, returned home to start graduate school. I loved the sense of intrigue and mystery that came with traveling to exotic lands and far away places.
I also came home with a profound sense of appreciation for the global diversity that we have right here! Looking at situations from a new perspective, asking open ended questions to understand a different point of view, and being curious about someone’s background or beliefs are all windows towards creating a sense of belonging to a global community. I feel so fortunate that much of the work I do in BizPysch – be it executive coaching, diversity training, or providing conflict mediation services – are all ways to build bridges and create a sense of community and connection.
Now, I’m getting ready to embark on another global adventure. As a parent who is committed to raising a “global citizen,” I am getting ready to move overseas with my son. We will be gone for a little less than a year and during that time we will both be students learning a new language and embracing a completely different way of living. There are so many ways to embrace global diversity, be it participating in a cooking class with foods from another country, learning a new language, seeing a foreign film, reading books about other countries, or following your curiosity by exploring new places on the internet! I trust I will return with a new set of perspectives which is what makes traveling and experiencing different cultures, no matter how you choose to do it, so exciting!
Marcia Kent, MS