Many years ago, a Thai friend gave me a copy of The Miracle of Being Awake, by Thich Nhat Hanh, which is about mindfulness, before the concept of mindfulness entered popular culture, and I have always carried a number of concepts from this book with me.
One, which I particularly love, is the idea that we should nourish and celebrate the differences between cultures, making these differences simply part of our experiences in the world. There is no bridge between cultures that we must cross - rather, we become like fish who swim between currents, moving into and out of different cultures with ease.
Today, as I picked up the book looking for some words that might explain how I feel we can embrace our lives without children, I realised of course that this analogy works perfectly in the No Kidding culture too, and also, of course, for those residing in Parentland. None of us have to be in just one group, feeling isolated and rejected from the other, feeling we have to prove ourselves as worthy. We can simply swim between these groups, appreciating the differences and laughing in the good times, supporting and being supported in the bad. We may find succour more in one culture than another, especially at first, but we can find joy in them all. We can nourish the differences between us, recognising that while we experience things differently, we are still part of one, overall, experience of life.