October 21, 2015
No matter where you are from, what language you speak or what your beliefs, there are certain behaviors and qualities that are universal. For instance, laughter is uplifting, singing and dancing are moving, and empathy is inspiring. In other words, no matter where you go in the world happiness and kindness are qualities that we all recognize.
A recent study by The University of Chicago suggests that parents’ sensitivity to both other people’s feelings and to injustice may influence early moral development in their children. This is significant if we want to live in a peaceful world where social justice, compassion and tolerance are valued.
We can all relate to cultural differences in the world. How we raise our children and how we were raised as children, impacts how we view our world and how we treat others in the world. Both Denmark and America have their own cultural beliefs about parenting, and if you’ve paid attention to the presidential race here in America even presidential candidates have their opinion about this! But maybe the only thing that really matters is that we are raising children who are, above anything else, empathetic.
When I read old letters and correspondences from the hope chest I am transported back over one hundred years ago. Times were very different in many ways, but certain qualities ring true even today. As the Thorsen family traveled from their home country of Denmark to a new life in America they were filled with uncertainties and worries. However, the kindness from others helped them settle in a new place where they could call home.
Actually, they were so successful at it that their legacy lives on in The Danish Home of Chicago today. Over one hundred and twenty years ago the home that Emma Thorsen imagined opened to assist older Danish-Americans living on Chicago’s north side. Along with her eleven “sisters” they created a place for the elderly to live out their last years with dignity. Today the Danish Home opens its’ doors to all, with the warmth and welcome that Emma and The Ladies envisioned, and continues to provide a loving place to live.
Did you know that this Saturday, October 24th is annual Make a Difference Day? Initiated in 1990, this is a national day devoted to helping others. You can join in by committing a random act of kindness to brighten someone’s day!
We’re spreading kindness too! Enter this month’s giveaway!
The Danish Home of Chicago Annual Fall Fest and Frikadeller Dinner on Nov. 1st.