Our interconnectivity is fundamental to how people form conceptions and understanding of society and our place in the world and the universe at large. What has defined the human race throughout history is how we communicate with each other, how we learn from one another and how we influence each other.
Our energies—curious and creative—fuse and collide from person to person, family to family, neighbor to neighbor, town to town and so on until the world resounds with the buzz of human interaction. This leads to many discoveries and opportunities, but unfortunately, this energy can also lead to dangerous and disturbing places through misunderstandings.
This is why opportunities for cultural exchange are so important.
Communication—effective communication—empowers our interconnectivity with understanding and respect.
A host mom recently shared how exploring the differences between cultures has provided her family and au pairs with the most memorable laughter, valuable education, global opportunities and meaningful friendships over the years that are made possible through programs for families like Au Pair in America. And she knows her stuff; Jennifer Davis is a business executive and mother-of-eight that has enriched her family through the au pair exchange program for nearly 20 years.
Jennifer’s family has explored topics—including politics, racism, religion, war and genocide—with candor, welcoming the knowledge and opinions of their many au pairs. Her children have had the opportunity to join these conversations as they’ve grown up surrounded by an international network of care and support. As a result of embracing interconnectivity among human beings, this family has enjoyed opportunities to travel for personal, academic and professional interests—enriched by the connections they’ve made with people from backgrounds much different than their own.
At a time when a look at the daily news can challenge anyone’s optimism, Jennifer’s experience reminds us that people can find ways to discuss complicated history and ongoing problems, find common ground, agree to disagree and ultimately laugh together in true friendship. Open-hearted, open-minded conversation between individuals can go a long way to bridging differences and sharing knowledge.
To learn more about the benefits of culturally enriching child care, visit the Au Pair in America website.