Healthy Family And Life After Retirement

2021-11-02 16:27
Home is where you invest in and guide the next generation to prepare and face the world.

The reason for nurturing our children, despite the hard­ ship, is to pass on the family line. However, is this tradition con­tinued among immigrant families? The concept of 'family’ or 'h이ne' is changing. If at this moment, you are happy and satisfied with your life, the dominant thought is that you do not need to go through the difficulty of parenthood for the next generation. Especially now, more and more individuals choose to stay single while some choose not to have children at all. Even if they are married and have children, they are often satisfied with a single child and choose not to have any more children. However, if it is the unfortunate case where that child dies from an illness or an accident before he or she gets married, then it would be the end of the generation.

What does a healthy family look like? Similar to the fact that no two snowflakes are identical, the notion of a healthy family vastly differs. Of course there are certain expectations and house rules that are common throughout families found but these cannot be applied to every single family. Therefore, there should be flexibility. A healthy family consists of members who trust each other, are responsible for their own roles, respect each other, and maintain healthy boundaries in order for the family to grow as a whole. It would be curious to see how the concept of home or families is thought of in young individuals. Would they still view the happiness of family as we traditionally would think and be encouraged to get married and start their own family? What are the basic principles one needs to be ready? In many cases, despite children receiving proper upbringing, they may end up in a corrupt environment. In a way, the society can be seen as a checkpoint. In a verbal fight between children and their parents, children often are victorious. Children receive strength in their sensitivity and adaptability to constant change. They are expected to rebel and in turn develop the self-confidence and the self-reliance needed to climb out of their 'bubble' and face the real world. They must not be held back and instead must continuously propel forward in order to develop their own opinions, thoughts, and actions for a brighter future. In today's society, the value of family is jeopardized. When individuals remain close to their family and consider family to be of utmost importance, they create a priceless relationship with their family otherwise they simply have a mere connection. Spending time, communicating and sharing values and opini이ns are vital in creating a relation­ ship beyond just a connection. When a negative event affects one family among hundreds, the aftereffect is widespread. Al­ though most family problems are private and sensitive, keeping everything bottled up will not resolve the issue. Within the affected family, many of its members are equally affected. Many families are suffering and are in need. They need a solution and, at times, they do not know how to receive the help they need. It would be useful if there is a system in which individuals can receive a simple diagnosis for their mental state or resolve issues in relati이nships with others just as regularly as they would visit the doctor's office for physical checkups. The average human life span is increasing to the point where we should reestablish the general stages of developments. Living healthy and being happy is most important but doing so in the expense of others should never occur. Are "healthy" families and a life after retirement connected in any way? In passing conversations, it is common to hear older generations speak of their life after retirement as solely their own responsibility in which their children will have no role. They are not expecting any support from their children. At times, they even question their children's politeness as a facade to manipulate allocation of their inheritance. It is unfortunate to see these thoughts cross in the minds of older generations and our increasingly corrupt society is to blame. We also hear other opinions from the elders: the only thing that matters is that our children get married and lead a great life, what else would a parent hope for? But what do parents really hope for? Hav­ing their children be good to them? Building a good relationship with them? There are still many parents who live only for their children. Is this an instinct? Or does it happen automatically as a parent? Is this child-driven lifestyle only apparent among the Baby Boomer generation? These days, the thought of spending invaluable amounts of time or money to take care of your family is disappearing. Driven by convenience, individuals now tend to rely more on the government or on institutions where they will provide care for seniors, with a fee. Some say seniors are stub­ born and you should just let them live the way they always have however; as cells in their bodies are transforming and dying, they also decrease their capability to adapt quickly to change. None­theless, everyone has the ability to change as long as they have the will to do so. There are only a few studies that examine how one should prepare for life after retirement but there are many workshops or lectures about living a "healthy" life after retire­ment. Currently, the focus is mainly on physical health or illness prevention but we need to emphasize the healthy lifestyle that can be achieved by building stronger relationships between fam­ ily members and neighbours. Since values and priorities have changed in our current society, parents can no longer guaran­ tee that their children will support their life after retirement. Although parents can experience the feeling of fulfillment and pride in continuing the family line through their children, there are many cases where parents in their old age cannot be dependent on their children anymore. Life after retirement, if you ac­cept the fact that we are aging, may lead to an active social life as much as your health allows you, free from illness even though you may be low in energy, and spend time with your family regu­larly and receive happiness in the comfort of everyday life. But does having all these things necessarily mean you are leading a great life? In this world, it is not about you leading a great life by yourself but about you influencing and connecting with oth­ers. The better the life of others around you, the happier you will be. After watching the news of Korea's Sewol ferry tragedy, one can only hope that there will be fewer individuals who are selfish and more individuals who are willing to make a sacrifice for others. The more we try to help others and build strong communities, the better this world will become. In an immigrant society, families are small and members often experience a generation gap. Many times, only parents and their children are able to form close relationships while there may be very little communication between other generations. However, the average life has been increased to over 100 years and often times three generations, or even four generations may be required to interact. Family roots and ethnic origins help immigrant children to become mentally and emotionally stable in a multicultural society, thus become less lonely and more confident in carrying out a successful life. Is there such a thing as an "Ideal Family" in today's society? We face many challenges in life and it is almost impossible to predict our future so it is impossible to have an ideal family. Instead, we should strive for a healthy family where family members have strong relationships with one another, parents and children trust and communicate with each other, and where they forgive each other so that wounds can be healed in the crisis situations. No matter how broken, complicated, and unstable a home may be, it will remain a nest in which we can grow upright and healthy. A healthy family makes a healthy society and is ultimately becomes the foundation of a healthy world. Therefore, a campaign for healthy families should be sustained. To do so, we need a system to continuously provide counselling and education under any circumstances.

A healthy family and life after retirement can be con­sidered connected and disconnected at the same time. This is because when subsequent generations grow up in a healthy fam­ ily then move on to thrive and succeed in our society. As a result, we each should also strive to live happily and healthily as we age and this will guaranteed to result in a more stable and well-off life after retirement. There is no standard in deciding whether or not a family is considered healthy. We can only infer and conclude according to our own experiences of family life and apply the les­ sons we've learned into successfully making our own families in the future. Families can be a perfect place to make many good memories. Friends and colleagues create memories with limited time and space but family can create a movie-like memory that stretches out from your birth to death. Parents may quickly forget about bad memories but children have a tendency to retain the bad memories that have been acquired during early years and replay them throughout their lives. Therefore, it is crucial for the family to create good memories for the children during their ear­ly years. What do you need in order for you to live healthier later years? Living a healthy lifestyle and leaving behind everything for the next generation, not just for your own family, can be consid­ered as a healthy and happy life. Nutritious and balanced diet, continuous physical activities, friendship that create endorphin, passion to learn new things, active community involvement, in­ dependent choices, beautiful memories, smiles and expressions of affection, love in family, and religious activities are some of the things that you need in order to live a healthier life.

Suyeon Jin
Executive Director at FUTFS

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Welcome to FUTFS, a Toronto Korean Community. FUTFS is a Korean-Canadian community that has been operating in Toronto for over 20 years, providing counseling and outreach services, and providing various educational programs and services for seniors, adults, and youth. In addition to free training, there are also many events. We appreciate your participation.

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