How do we connect generations for better communication and sharing gratitude? In anticipation of Intergeneration Day, on Sunday, October 3, we share some ideas for celebration. It’s interesting to note that the origin of last month’s Intergeneration celebration began in the year 2000 with Ms. Sandy Kraemer during her efforts to research intergenerational issues. Her research results revealed annual time was crucial for improved communication between generations, igniting worldwide conversations about higher education, economics, and our future.
- History: In 1997, Frenchwoman Jean Calment died, aged 122 years and 165 days old. It is believed that she had the longest human lifespan in history. In 2000, The Foundation Institute (now Intergenerational Foundation) launched Intergeneration Day on the first Sunday of October, Later, in 2012, Intergeneration Day expanded to Intergeneration Month held every September.
- Avoid Assumptions: We are surrounded by subliminal and overt marketing. The attempts to stereotype the generations into specific ways of thinking and doing things surround us daily. Shrug off these blatant missteps. Be authentic. Actively listen to the stories and engage in dialogue with all generations.
- Communicate: If you are fortunate enough that you have living parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles, contact them and share some joy. Increase your communication if you have been out of touch. Offer to share a coffee or cocktail and conversation. You might just gain some valuable insight.
Together we can create better communication between generations which will lead to discovering the best solutions for our challenges. In honor of Integration Day, start a conversation with someone in a different generation. Gain insight and wisdom with active listening to all generations.
Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is a diversity and inclusion consultant, cross-cultural trainer, etiquette expert, and the founder of Access to Culture. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE Centre, she is an attorney and mediator. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business, Access to Asia, won a coveted Kirkus Star, and was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books. She’s a winner of numerous awards, including the British Airways International Trade Award at the Greater Austin Business Awards.
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