We Create Our Culture

May 27 10:24 2010 Aurelia Flores Print This Article

We, as parents, work very hard to give out kids the best possible groundwork.  The path they take is up to them and what they do with the tools we give them is also their decision. 

Can I brag a bit? This past weekend I was at Georgetown University in Washington,Guest Posting DC waiting for my son to graduate from college. As you can imagine, I'm an exceedingly proud mama right now!

And at the same time, I think about how much I've worked to create what I hope will be a solid foundation for his future. But let's be clear -- this is HIS accomplishment much more than mine.

As parents, many of you know that we do what we can to set up the best possible groundwork for our kids; however, it is up to them to decide what path to take, and what to do with the raw tools we give them. We work hard to provide the best opportunities, and yet each person's path is their own and especially our own children have to be able to have the space and the freedom to make choices that have consequences that we otherwise may not enjoy.

The same hold true for us as Latinos. We work together to build, to create and to support a culture that values education, that cares for those less fortunate than us, that gives back and reaches out a helping hand. However, as we create culture in *community*, we also recognize that some will make the most of these opportunities, and some will allow the possibility to fall by the wayside.

And we have to be ok with allowing both options to be possible!

As Latinas, we create a space not only in our immediate families, but also in the greater community for the kind of world we want to have. So, as I sit here this weekend reflecting on the path it's taken over the past 23 years to get to this one special occasion (my son's college graduation), I also realize that the foundation we're working to build TOGETHER is just as important, and will also take time.

About 30 years ago, the word "Hispanic" was created. Less than 30 years ago, we started using the new definition of "Latino" in this country (a word that has little meaning outside the U.S.). As we create what these terms mean to us and for us, we also shape what this world will look like for our children (this includes our nieces, nephews, mentees, etc.) over the next 10, 20, 50 years and more...

And we (hopefully) hold these meanings loosely and allow those that come afterward to shape, mold and change our culture with us, with a new understanding and perspective. That is to say, we honor those who came before, but we don't want to be stuck at one moment in time.

For those of us who were fortunate enough to be mentored by great Latino leaders who went before us, and yet still opened space for us to be our own kind of leaders, we need to do the same for those that come after. Who knows what new terms, meanings and possibilities will come into existence?

We can hope (and I do!) that what it means to be Latino will become a strong, growing, wonderful thing -- something even bigger and more powerful than it is today. And it's wonderful today! I work towards a culture where we address our problems with solutions that work for all of us, celebrate the victories we've already had, and continue to build upon the strengths we share.

All of this starts in our everyday lives and works its way out... I am grateful to my son for showing me a small glimpse of what the future may hold. I love you, 'jito!

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Aurelia Flores
Aurelia Flores

Aurelia Flores wants to offer a learning opportunity to other women who might find themselves in similar shoes. She strongly believes women can learn from other women, no matter where they are in their career or life path. Powerful-Latinas mission is “helping powerful Latina women stay grounded in their power!”  To find out more, go to www.PowerfulLatinas.com

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