Personal aspects, private thoughts, powerful wishes
Twelve childhoods from around the globe and a generation’s insight
This is where most things start: With personal experience.
In our childhood, most parents still showed tremendous respect when it came to dealing with the authorities, they had a strong sense of “knowing their place”.
The majority of people thought that “old boy networks” and the likes were something for the privileged - which of course was true - and that rich and well-educated folks would divide up between each other whatever attractive jobs and other chances life might bring.
Exclusive, as seen from the outside.
Of course there have always been kids in every generation who felt that they should have more options and more chances, who thought that the world and its wonders should be explored beyond their established regional boundaries.
Their limitations were usually defined by the answers to these two questions: How much money do you have and whom do you know ?!
Times and definitions change, limits get shifted.
Many kids of our generation were pioneers:
Finally, we had free higher education (well, most of us anyway), more and more boys and girls were off to the universities and in further consequence also off to foreign countries. Sensational!
The previous generations had mothers who had been nowhere so far and fathers who had perhaps seen places during military service. But not much more.
And now many of us began to understand:
No better way to get to know your own home, your nation and your familiar way of living than to leave it for a while. Distance creates new perspectives, it helps to see more clearly and to understand better!
However, the hurdles were still quite substantial.
Money was sparse, language skills depended exclusively on what the schools had to offer (no social media in those days and no DVDs you might watch in your own language one day and in another the next!). Parental tolerance and appreciation for the risks and dangers of venturing abroad was often enough minimal.
For all of those who did it anyway, perhaps as backpackers and hitch-hikers, frequently working on farms, in pubs and in factories, life changed forever.
Self-pity is never a decent solution, and they quickly learned to fend for themselves. Along the way they picked up self-reliance, the art of improvising, a sharpened perception of chances and dangers.
For the twelve founding members of this community this describes an essential part of their own journey to adulthood. Eleven eventually became parents themselves. Nine have finished university successfully despite their parents’ concerns about their ventures.
Personal experience and the understanding of their peers’ life stories have resulted in their conclusion: they want to pass their insights on to their own children by giving them maximum access to these three crucial ingredients ...
a sound and multilingual education,
a multicultural and international spectrum of experience,
unbiased empathy with strong humanitarian values.