For Senior Snowbirds Returning Home

Mar 9th, 2011 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

After the holidays and about now, in anticipation of spring although snow still falls in the north and Midwest, those who have resided in Arizona and other points in the southwest,  begin returning home. If you travel east or northeast on one or another interstate about now, you will encounter the motor homes and loaded vehicles of persons making their way to their summer residences. 

For those, usually referred to respectfully as snowbirds, who have been in Arizona  and other southwestern states for several months, we offer some observations which may be helpful. 

Right now, Arizona  suffers from a reputation imbalance.  While Arizona touts itself as a very desirable place to reside in winter, which it is is, it has come face to face with issues involving its political integrity.  Politicians and citizens alike are struggling with how to deal with neighbor, when neighbor is Hispanic, speaks Spanish, attends school, enjoys income from jobs available in Arizona which aren’t back home in Mexico and other countries. 

It has become, in some quarters, an ugly battle pitting human beings who long for a chance to support their children against those who do not wish to welcome “aliens” into their communities. 

When snowbirds return home, consider these thoughts as you engage in conversation and clarification with your own neighbors and family wherever they live. 

  1. First, let them know that not everyone shares the harsh remedies being proposed to exclude persons who bravely make their way to  states like Arizona to make a living. 
  2. Second, let them know that you carry your own sense of fair play in treating your neighbor as you would like to be treated.
  3. Third, remind persons that life and survival are very complex issues, ill positioned to be solved by legislators who show little compassion and no concern for persons struggling to raise their level of existence.
  4. Fourth, help people recognize that many persons who make their way to the southwest need what those coming from Mexico and beyond have to offer.  The compounds in which many ”tourist aliens” live are often well tended inside and out by those coming from further south. 
  5. Fifth, the world, as demonstrated in the Middle East, is being confronted by major shifts and movements which suggest that those with less wish for and long to arrive at a better way of life.
  6. Sixth, if you are a religious person, consider what it means to act out your long held convictions. 

And, finally, assist persons there (where ever you call home the rest of the year) to read and listen carefully to media reports and talking heads when they espouse attitudes and positions that appeal to the worst in us.  Decide that you are going to work diligently to overcome prejudice and disdain and learn how to be loving and caring toward others, no matter who they are.



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