My Children are real global citizens, “where ever they lay their head that’s their home”. They’re raised multi-cultural, even more then I sometimes realise.
They are growing up fast now. They start to be young adults with all the ups and downs. I find it sometimes hard to let go and to admit that they’re intelligent personalities and do have good thoughts and ideas. I can learn a lot from them nowadays!
It were my children who -politely- tried to tell me that my goals for the International Feelgood Academy, (by sharing knowledge and experiences, learning to enjoy our differences) are not going to work . “ it was ‘soooooo Dutch’ to think that people from other cultures were going to share their thoughts about cultural sensitive topics with me; a white woman, even not a friend or family member.”
My children are absolutely right, I know -although I tend to forget it sometimes-. The knowledge that they were right discouraged me, I had a couple of experiences by hand myself that I’m ‘too Dutch’ as-well; My interest and curiosity in what/how and why other people moves is not being much appriciated. I’m too direct and open and expect that from others too.
A couple of years ago I had a chat with my Australian neighbour about something political -I can’t even remember what- but after that chat she obviously avoided me. Then I realised she must have been very uncomfortable about that specific chat. So I rang her doorbell (so she could not avoid me) and I told her how much I had enjoyed our chat and how much I appreciated her sharing her thoughts and ideas with me, I really learned something from that chat, it made my world a little bit bigger. It took her a while; she had to think about my approach to a discussion, in which we not naturally agreed about. She agreed with me hesitatingly, but we never had the same talks again. I was to afraid to loose also the small talks.
It depressed me for a while. Then again it were my children who convinced to keep on going “Mom, you see things, and with your experience and knowledge of human nature and different cultures you put cultural topics in a different perspective and give it a twist. Maybe people don’t join in the way you want to but you give people something to think about and raise some understanding.” And that is actually where cultural intelligence is all about.