From James Luce to Billy copied to Stephen Lee– June 9, 2024  
Billy. Washington Post sent this to me – Article by Senior Editor Laura McGann:
Friendships are crucial to living our best lives. We can reach each other in more ways than ever in the digital era. So why has American friendship fallen off a cliff? In 1990, only 1 percent of Americans told Gallup they had zero friends. By 2024, that figure surged to 17 percent, according to a poll by the Survey Center on American Life. This week, journalist Anna Goldfarb makes the case that all is not lost: This can still be the golden age of friendship. The first step: We must tell each other how we feel.  In researching her new book, “Modern Friendship: How to Nurture Our Most Valued Connections,” Goldfarb concluded that friendships lack the language we use in romantic or familial relationships. As our free time dwindles in modern life, we need to establish that someone is important in our lives. We need to be vulnerable and tell them.  We’d also like to hear from you. How do you keep your friendships active? Please share your strategies with us.  
Billy’s Reply to James copied to Stephen Lee – June 15, 2024

Dear James and Stephen.

I just need to tell you that you are important in my life . I thank You !



James’s Response to Billy- June 15, 2024

Hello Billy, You already have successfully communicated this message many times over many years. Of course, it’s a message that bears repeating.

Hugs, James



Jean-Marie Valheur

lover of history

Few people know that the German doing the Nazi salute on the podium behind black American athlete Jesse Owens, Lutz Long, would become close friends with Owens. Long lived in Nazi Germany, where everyone was told each day of the supposed superiority of the Aryan race. But he, himself, didn’t feel that way at all.

Since the 1936 Olympics, until the days of WWII, Long and Owens exchanged letters. Even when Long was sent off to war, fighting in North Africa and Sicily, the two men still wrote to each other, checking in on one another, as they wrote of their wives, their families, hopes, fears and loves.

In North Africa in 1943, in the desert, Lutz Long wrote his final letter to Jesse Owens. A man he called his brother. His last ever known words, and they are haunting:

I am here, Jesse, where it seems there is only the dry sand and the wet blood. I do not fear so much for myself, my friend Jesse, I fear for my woman who is home, and my young son Karl, who has never really known his father.

⁣My heart tells me, if I be honest with you, that this is the last letter I shall ever write. If it is so, I ask you something. It is a something so very important to me. It is you go to Germany when this war done, someday find my Karl, and tell him about his father. Tell him, Jesse, what times were like when we not separated by war. I am saying—tell him how things can be between men on this earth.⁣⁣

If you do this something for me, this thing that I need the most to know will be done, I do something for you, now. I tell you something I know you want to hear. And it is true.⁣ That hour in Berlin when I first spoke to you, when you had your knee upon the ground, I knew that you were in prayer.⁣⁣ Then I not know how I know. Now I do. I know it is never by chance that we come together. I come to you that hour in 1936 for purpose more than der Berliner Olympiad.

And you, I believe, will read this letter, while it should not be possible to reach you ever, for purpose more even than our friendship.⁣ I believe this shall come about because I think now that God will make it come about. This is what I have to tell you, Jesse.

I think I might believe in God.⁣  And I pray to him that, even while it should not be possible for this to reach you ever, these words I write will still be read by you.

Your brother,


Jesse Owens received the letter, but by this time his friend and brother Lutz had been transferred to Sicily. He died defending it during the Allied invasion. More than thirty years after the war, an elderly Jesse Owens traveled to Germany and found Karl Long, the son of his best friend.

That’s Karl and Jesse Owens in the picture above. Jesse Owens kept his promise to his best friend. To see his son. To tell him about the father he never knew. To tell him of their friendship. To tell him father was a good man. A brave man and honorable man. Jesse Owens, himself, died shortly after meeting Karl.



Observations on Interpersonal Relationships and Emotional Connections Between East and West – Cultural Context and Differences- Part One -by Holden -Yang 杨泓之-June 4, 2024- by Billy’s Request

When comparing the experiences of making friends in China and America, one immediately notices the profound differences in cultural context, social norms, and underlying philosophies of life. These differences have historically been vast, akin to a great chasm, although in recent years, some aspects have shown signs of convergence. However, the differences remain significant overall.

Collectivism vs. Individualism

China, with its millennia-old cultural traditions and the guidance of the ruling party, places a strong emphasis on collectivism. In this context, the interests and needs of individuals often take a back seat to the needs of the group. This is reflected in social interactions, where the sense of personal boundaries may not be as strong, and privacy is sometimes not fully protected. Personal lives can sometimes be interfered with, which is one reason why some people choose to immigrate to the United States.

However, this state of affairs is not without its advantages. The blurring of personal boundaries often comes with a strong sense of human connection. For those who find themselves lonely or emotionally isolated, the Eastern style of interpersonal warmth can offer more external intervention and emotional support.

 Loneliness in America

In stark contrast, American culture highly values individualism, with a deep respect for personal boundaries and privacy. However, this can sometimes lead to an environment where emotional and cultural desertification exists. Despite frequent social interactions and polite exchanges, many people may feel a profound sense of loneliness. This is especially true when facing life’s challenges; the feeling of helplessness and having no close friends to turn to can be overwhelming. This phenomenon is supported by recent statistics, which indicate that loneliness is a significant issue in the United States. According to a study, [a certain percentage of Americans report feeling lonely](

For new immigrants, the challenge of loneliness is even greater. Many Chinese immigrants bring their elderly parents to live with them in America. However, a considerable proportion of these elders struggle with the language barrier and cultural differences, including the challenges posed by different social interactions, ultimately giving up on life in the United States due to loneliness.

 Personal Experience and Challenges

My family’s experience highlights the stark differences in interpersonal relationships between China and America. During the period when cases of Asian hate were rising, we faced harassment and harm from our white neighbors. This led to health damage issues and significant financial losses. Despite these challenges, we found it difficult to find friends who could truly support us in our daily life, underscoring the sense of isolation and helplessness in a society that values personal boundaries perhaps too much. ( This story will be shared in a subsequent article – Part Two. )

It is obvious that, while both cultures have their strengths and weaknesses in terms of making friends and forming interpersonal relationships, the fundamental differences remain vast. Understanding and navigating these differences can be crucial for anyone trying to build meaningful connections in either context.




集体主义 vs. 个人主义








 Holden Yang 杨泓and Children

Dedicated father of two young children, serving as a volunteer coach for his son’s soccer practice and daughter’s gymnastics practice. Passionate about community involvement as an AYSO volunteer referee. An experienced entrepreneur and consultant with a strong background in IT and business development. Extensive experience as an investment advisor and research director, committed to fostering cross-border business growth and collaborations.


Peking University – Studied under China’s most renowned economist, gaining a profound understanding    of economic theories and applications.

Stanford University -Visiting Scholar – Engaged in advanced research and academic collaboration, gained knowledge and expertise in international economics

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: -**Consultant**- **Investment Advisor**

Provided strategic consulting services to Chinese enterprises seeking financing and mergers in the U.S. market.

Assisted American companies in expanding into Asian markets, leveraging deep insights into cross-cultural business practices



Immediately after Anne Gate’s Good Wishes, Billy  discovered a list 23 Random Social Skills from Paul Sanders who was promoting his book “ Get The Friends You Want”:

  1. Shaking off the feelings of loneliness or social hesitation,
  2. Discovering or remembering your value & what you can bring to the table (Why people should hang out with you),
  3. Knowing where to go to meet new people,
  4. Reaching out to acquaintances to hang out (even though you haven’t spoken for a while),
  5. Starting conversations and getting a basic exchange going,
  6. Keeping conversations going,
  7. Making random conversations interesting & fun,
  8. Beyond just talking – connecting (or vibing) with another person,
  9. Handling a group conversation,
  10. Finding things in common,
  11. Using basic humor, alleviating tension, giving off a relaxed vibe,
  12. Finding opportunities for why you should stay in touch & hang out in the future,
  13. Exchanging contact information,
  14. Following up, making plans, having people say “Yes!” and show up to your plans,
  15. Having a great time with people you meet for the first few times,
  16. Making friendship “happen” & starting to build trust,
  17. Introducing people to each other,
  18. Establishing a social habit with others to solidify the friendship,
  19. Turning casual friends into close friends,
  20. Building social circles,
  21. Turning a casual social circle into a circle of care and support (a group of close friends who have each others’ back),
  22. Building a professional network that supports your career or business,
  23. And, Handling the occasional conflict between friends and keeping the drama away.

Simultaneously, a short inspiring poem written especially for me by my very dear friend, James Luce, arrived. James normally writes long deep critical analysis, but he did this special favor for me as he knew that I could only absorb so much at a time.


              Jaume Luz

                Chef de Cuisine

Fold gently four ingredients into each day.

Reflect on what each ingredient has to say.

Insulate from fear or you’ll burn the crust.

Empathy, Compassion, Joy, and Trust

Need patience to mature and fuse.

Don’t shake, rattle, or abuse.

Sprinkling some sugar into the bowl

Helps to reach your intended goal.

Inhale the aroma of those ingredients blended,

Perpetually the results are splendid.





Here are some words senior retirees could share to bring joy and insight about the value of friendship and how to cultivate it:

  1. Wisdom of Experience: “Throughout my life, I’ve learned that one of the greatest treasures we can have is friendship. It’s not just about having someone to share our joys with, but also to support us through the challenges life throws our way.”
  2. Nurturing Relationships: “As we grow older, we realize the importance of nurturing our relationships. It’s not about the quantity of friends we have, but the quality of the connections we foster.”
  3. Acts of Kindness: “Sometimes, the smallest acts of kindness can have the biggest impact on someone’s life. Whether it’s a phone call, a handwritten letter, or a simple gesture of support, reaching out to others can bring immense joy to both parties.”
  4. Listening and Understanding: “In our fast-paced world, it’s easy to forget the importance of truly listening to one another. Being a good friend means offering a listening ear, understanding without judgment, and being there through thick and thin.”
  5. Sharing Life’s Joys and Sorrows: “Life is full of ups and downs, but having friends to share these experiences with makes the journey worthwhile. Whether it’s celebrating achievements or offering a shoulder to lean on during tough times, friends make life richer and more meaningful.”
  6. Embracing Differences: “One of the beauties of friendship is the diversity it brings. We all come from different backgrounds and have unique perspectives, but it’s these differences that enrich our lives and broaden our horizons.”
  7. Leading by Example: “As senior retirees, we have the opportunity to lead by example and show the younger generation the importance of cultivating meaningful relationships. By demonstrating kindness, empathy, and generosity, we can inspire others to do the same.”
  8. Creating Memories: “Some of the fondest memories we have are those shared with friends. Whether it’s traveling to new places, trying new experiences, or simply enjoying each other’s company, these moments create bonds that last a lifetime.”
  9. Staying Connected: “In today’s digital age, staying connected has never been easier. Whether it’s through social media, video calls, or good old-fashioned visits, it’s important to make an effort to stay in touch with friends and family members near and far.”
  10. Gratitude and Appreciation: “Above all, let’s never forget to express gratitude for the friends we have in our lives. Each friendship is a gift, and it’s important to cherish and appreciate those who bring joy, laughter, and love into our lives.”

These sentiments can serve as a guide for senior retirees to impart wisdom and encouragement to younger friends and family members on the value of friendship and how to cultivate it for a more joyful life.




Here are some “no-no’s” that seniors may want to remind younger generations about, along with real-life examples:

  1. Arrogance and Entitlement: Younger generations may sometimes exhibit arrogance or entitlement, believing they deserve special treatment or privileges without putting in the necessary effort. Seniors can remind them that humility and hard work are essential for personal growth and success. For instance, sharing stories of their own humble beginnings and the journey they took to achieve their goals can provide valuable perspective.
  2. Lack of Respect for Elders: In today’s fast-paced world, some younger individuals may forget to show proper respect for their elders. Seniors can emphasize the importance of respecting elders for their wisdom, experience, and contributions to society. They might share personal anecdotes of how showing respect to elders has enriched their lives and taught them valuable lessons.
  3. Overdependence on Technology: While technology has its benefits, seniors may caution younger generations against becoming overly dependent on it. They can share instances where excessive screen time or reliance on gadgets has led to a disconnect Younger generations may struggle with patience and seek instant gratification in various aspects of life, such as career advancement or relationships. Seniors can emphasize the value of perseverance, resilience, and delayed gratification. Sharing personal stories of overcoming obstacles or achieving long-term goals through patience and perseverance can serve as inspiring examples.
  4. Neglecting Mental Health: In today’s busy world, mental health issues such as stress, anxiety, and depression are prevalent among younger generations. Seniors can encourage them to prioritize self-care and seek support when needed. Sharing personal experiences of coping with life’s challenges and the importance of seeking professional help when facing mental health issues can help destigmatize seeking assistance.
  5. Disregard for Tradition and Culture: With globalization and modernization, younger generations may sometimes disregard traditional values and cultural practices. Seniors can remind them of the importance of preserving and respecting their cultural heritage. Sharing stories of how cultural traditions have shaped their identities and enriched their lives can foster a sense of pride and appreciation for their heritage.
  6. Materialism and Consumerism: In a consumer-driven society, younger generations may prioritize material possessions and external validation over inner fulfillment and personal growth. Seniors can caution against the pitfalls of materialism and encourage them to focus on experiences, relationships, and meaningful pursuits. Sharing stories of finding joy and contentment in simple pleasures and experiences rather than material wealth can inspire a shift in perspective.

By sharing these “no-no’s” along with real-life examples and personal anecdotes, seniors can impart valuable wisdom and guidance to younger generations, helping them navigate life with greater awareness, humility, and respect.


Top of Form




Here are some words and phrases that mature adults might use to induce appreciation of friendship and teach their younger friends:

  1. Gratitude: Encouraging young friends to express gratitude for the friendships they have can deepen their appreciation.
  2. Empathy: Teaching younger friends to understand and share the feelings of others can strengthen their bonds with their friends.
  3. Reciprocity: Helping them understand the importance of giving back to their friends and being there for them in times of need.
  4. Communication: Emphasizing the value of open and honest communication in maintaining strong friendships.
  5. Trust: Discussing the significance of trust in friendships and how it’s built over time through consistency and reliability.
  6. Forgiveness: Explaining the power of forgiveness in resolving conflicts and maintaining long-lasting friendships.
  7. Support: Encouraging them to be supportive of their friends’ goals, dreams, and challenges.
  8. Quality time: Stressing the importance of spending quality time together and creating memorable experiences.
  9. Boundaries: Teaching them about setting healthy boundaries in friendships to maintain mutual respect and understanding.
  10. Appreciation: Helping them recognize and appreciate the unique qualities and strengths of each friend.
  11. Kindness: Promoting acts of kindness and generosity as essential elements of friendship.
  12. Loyalty: Discussing the importance of loyalty and standing by your friends through thick and thin.
  13. Vulnerability: Encouraging them to be vulnerable with their friends and share their true thoughts and feelings.
  14. Adaptability: Teaching them to adapt to changes in friendships and navigate challenges with resilience.
  15. Reflection: Encouraging them to reflect on the value that each friendship brings to their lives and express their appreciation regularly.

By using these words and concepts, mature adults can help instill a deeper appreciation of friendship in their younger counterparts and guide them in building meaningful and lasting connections.


Please site detail examples on how it is done in each case.


Certainly! Here are detailed examples of how mature adults can use each concept to induce appreciation of friendship and teach their younger friends:

  1. Gratitude: Encouraging young friends to express gratitude by setting an example. For instance, they could start a tradition of sharing what they’re grateful for at the beginning or end of each hangout session, highlighting the role each friend plays in their lives.
  2. Empathy: Demonstrating empathy by actively listening to their young friends’ concerns and validating their feelings. They could share personal experiences where empathy strengthened their friendships, showing how understanding and empathizing with others can deepen connections.
  3. Reciprocity: Teaching younger friends about reciprocity by emphasizing the importance of giving back in friendships. They could encourage them to plan thoughtful gestures or surprises for their friends, demonstrating how small acts of kindness can strengthen bonds.
  4. Communication: Emphasizing the value of open communication by initiating honest conversations about feelings, boundaries, and expectations within friendships. They could role-play different scenarios to practice effective communication skills and resolve conflicts constructively.
  5. Trust: Discussing the significance of trust in friendships by sharing stories of trust-building experiences and how trust forms the foundation of strong relationships. They could also encourage their young friends to honor commitments and maintain confidentiality to foster trust.
  6. Forgiveness: Teaching the power of forgiveness by discussing instances where forgiving a friend strengthened their bond. They could emphasize that forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting but rather letting go of resentment to move forward in the friendship.
  7. Support: Encouraging their young friends to be supportive by actively listening, offering encouragement, and providing help when needed. They could model supportive behavior by being there for their friends during challenging times and celebrating their successes.
  8. Quality time: Stressing the importance of spending quality time together by planning meaningful activities that foster connection and create lasting memories. They could suggest unplugging from technology during hangouts to focus on each other and deepen their bond.
  9. Boundaries: Teaching the importance of setting healthy boundaries in friendships by discussing personal boundaries and respecting the boundaries of others. They could role-play boundary-setting scenarios and reinforce the idea that boundaries promote mutual respect and understanding.
  10. Appreciation: Helping younger friends recognize and appreciate the unique qualities of each friend by highlighting their strengths and contributions to the group dynamic. They could initiate a gratitude exercise where everyone takes turns expressing appreciation for each other.
  11. Kindness: Promoting acts of kindness by encouraging their young friends to perform random acts of kindness for each other and for others outside the friendship circle. They could discuss the ripple effect of kindness and how it enhances the overall well-being of everyone involved.
  12. Loyalty: Discussing the importance of loyalty in friendships by emphasizing the value of standing by your friends through both good times and bad. They could share personal stories of loyalty and discuss how loyalty strengthens trust and mutual support.
  13. Vulnerability: Encouraging vulnerability by creating a safe space where young friends feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, feelings, and insecurities without fear of judgment. They could lead by example by sharing their own vulnerabilities and demonstrating that vulnerability deepens connection.
  14. Adaptability: Teaching adaptability by discussing how friendships evolve over time and how flexibility and resilience are key to navigating changes. They could encourage their young friends to embrace change and find creative ways to stay connected even during challenging circumstances.
  15. Reflection: Encouraging reflection by prompting their young friends to think about the value that each friendship brings to their lives and express their appreciation regularly. They could suggest journaling about their friendships or discussing what they’ve learned from their friends during group reflections.

By incorporating these detailed examples into their interactions with younger friends, mature adults can effectively convey the importance of friendship and teach valuable lessons on how to nurture and appreciate these relationships.



Words and actions to induce appreciation of Friendship for young adults pursuing career development to create long-term feelings and attitudes. Words of memories that “stick”.


When fostering appreciation for friendship among young adults pursuing career development, it’s important to weave words and actions that resonate deeply and create lasting impressions. Here are some approaches:

  1. Shared Experiences: Encourage shared experiences that create lasting memories. Whether it’s celebrating achievements together, overcoming challenges, or simply spending quality time, these shared moments form the bedrock of strong friendships. Mention specific instances that highlight the bond you share.
  2. Supportive Language: Use words that convey support and encouragement. Express gratitude for their presence in your life and acknowledge the value they bring. Highlight moments when their support made a significant impact on your journey.
  3. Authenticity: Be genuine in your expressions of appreciation. Share your feelings openly and honestly. Authenticity builds trust and deepens connections. Recall moments when you felt the authenticity of their friendship, perhaps during vulnerable times or heartfelt conversations.
  4. Recognition: Recognize their unique qualities and contributions to your life. Point out the strengths they bring to your friendship and how they enhance your experiences. Reminisce about times when their particular talents or personality traits shone through.
  5. Thoughtfulness: Be thoughtful in your words and actions. Small gestures of kindness and thoughtfulness go a long way in strengthening friendships. Reflect on instances when they went out of their way to show they care, whether through a thoughtful gesture, a kind word, or simply being there when you needed them most.
  6. Shared Goals: Emphasize the importance of shared goals and aspirations. Discuss your career ambitions and how you can support each other in achieving them. Recall conversations where you both envisioned your futures together and how your friendship plays a pivotal role in realizing those dreams.
  7. Gratitude: Express gratitude for their friendship and the impact they’ve had on your life. Acknowledge the joy and fulfillment they bring, and express how grateful you are to have them by your side. Share specific memories that illustrate the depth of your appreciation.

By incorporating these elements into your words and actions, you can foster a deep appreciation for friendship among young adults pursuing career development, creating long-term feelings and attitudes that endure through the ups and downs of life.


What words they use among themselves that shows appreciation and define their relationships?


Young adults often use a variety of words and phrases to express appreciation for their friends and to define their relationships. Here are some examples:

  1. Bro/Brother/Sis/Sister: Terms of endearment that signify a close bond, akin to familial relationships. “Thanks, bro, for always having my back.”
  2. Bestie/Best Friend: Referring to someone as their “bestie” or “best friend” indicates a deep level of trust and intimacy. “You’re my rock, my best friend.”
  3. Squad: Used to describe a close-knit group of friends who support each other through thick and thin. “Couldn’t have done it without my squad cheering me on.”
  4. Ride or Die: Signifying unwavering loyalty and support, often used to describe friends who will stick by each other through anything. “You’re my ride or die, always there when I need you.”
  5. Homie: A casual term of affection used among friends, indicating camaraderie and closeness. “You’re my homie, man. Thanks for being there.”
  6. Partner in Crime: Describes a friend with whom one shares adventures and mischievous moments. “You’re my partner in crime, always up for an adventure.”
  7. BFFL (Best Friends for Life): Emphasizes the enduring nature of their friendship, regardless of life’s changes and challenges. “We’re BFFLs, no matter where life takes us.”
  8. Day One: Refers to a friend who has been there from the beginning, through thick and thin. “You’re my day one, always there since the start.”
  9. Rock: Describes a friend who provides stability and support during tough times. “You’re my rock, always there to lean on.”
  10. Soulmate: Not just reserved for romantic relationships, friends may refer to each other as soulmates to signify a deep spiritual connection and understanding. “You’re my soulmate, we just get each other.”

These words and phrases not only express appreciation but also define the depth and significance of the friendships among young adults pursuing career development. They reflect the unique bonds formed through shared experiences, support, and understanding.




The feeling of friendship is a profound sense of connection, understanding, and warmth that arises when individuals share a deep bond. It’s a feeling of being accepted and valued for who you are, flaws and all. Here’s a deeper exploration of the feelings associated with friendship:

  1. Acceptance: Friendship evokes a sense of acceptance, where individuals feel comfortable being their authentic selves without fear of judgment. It’s a space where imperfections are embraced, and differences are celebrated.
  2. Trust: Trust is a cornerstone of friendship, fostering a feeling of security and reliability. Friends confide in each other, knowing that their secrets and vulnerabilities are safe. There’s a sense of reassurance in knowing that someone has your back no matter what.
  3. Joy: Friendship brings joy and laughter into one’s life. Shared experiences, inside jokes, and moments of pure happiness create memories that last a lifetime. The feeling of joy is amplified when it’s shared with friends who genuinely care about your well-being.
  4. Support: Friends provide support during both the good times and the bad. Whether it’s offering a listening ear, providing words of encouragement, or lending a helping hand, the feeling of support from friends is invaluable. Knowing that you have someone to lean on in times of need brings comfort and strength.
  5. Empathy: Friendship cultivates empathy, the ability to understand and share in the feelings of others. Friends empathize with each other’s struggles and celebrate each other’s successes. The feeling of being understood and supported on an emotional level deepens the bond between friends.
  6. Gratitude: Friendship elicits feelings of gratitude for the people who enrich our lives in meaningful ways. There’s a profound appreciation for the laughter, the tears, the shared experiences, and the unwavering support that friends provide. Gratitude fosters a sense of connection and reciprocity in friendships.
  7. Belonging: Friendship creates a sense of belonging and community. It’s a feeling of being part of something greater than oneself, a network of caring individuals who uplift and empower each other. The feeling of belonging strengthens bonds and fosters a sense of unity among friends.
  8. Comfort: Friendship offers comfort in times of distress and solace in moments of solitude. Knowing that there are people who care about you unconditionally provides a sense of comfort and peace. Friends offer a safe haven where you can be yourself without fear of rejection.

Overall, the feeling of friendship is a beautiful tapestry woven from acceptance, trust, joy, support, empathy, gratitude, belonging, and comfort. It’s a bond that enriches our lives and brings meaning to our experiences, reminding us that we are never alone on life’s journey.



Words and actions to induce appreciation of Friendship for Preteens that will impact their long tern feelings and attitudes.


Fostering appreciation of friendship in preteens is essential for their emotional development and social skills. Here are some words and actions that can help instill this appreciation:

  1. Model Positive Relationships: Show preteens what healthy friendships look like through your own interactions with friends and loved ones. Be kind, supportive, and respectful in your relationships, and they’ll learn by example.
  2. Encourage Empathy: Teach preteens to understand and empathize with their friends’ feelings and perspectives. Help them recognize that everyone has their own challenges and experiences.
  3. Promote Communication: Encourage open and honest communication between friends. Teach them the importance of expressing themselves and listening to others without judgment.
  4. Celebrate Differences: Emphasize the value of diversity in friendships. Help preteens appreciate the unique qualities and interests of their friends, even if they differ from their own.
  5. Resolve Conflicts Peacefully: Teach preteens how to navigate conflicts in a constructive manner. Encourage them to communicate calmly, listen actively, and find compromises that benefit both parties.
  6. Acknowledge Acts of Kindness: Highlight and praise acts of kindness and support between friends. Whether it’s lending a listening ear or offering help with schoolwork, recognizing these gestures reinforces positive behavior.
  7. Create Opportunities for Connection: Facilitate opportunities for preteens to spend quality time with their friends, whether through playdates, group activities, or shared interests. These experiences strengthen bonds and create lasting memories.
  8. Encourage Gratitude: Foster a sense of gratitude for the friends in their lives. Prompt preteens to reflect on the positive qualities of their friends and express appreciation for their friendship.
  9. Lead by Encouragement, Not Control: Instead of dictating who they should be friends with or how they should act in their friendships, offer guidance and support. Help them navigate their friendships while allowing them to make their own choices and learn from their experiences.
  10. Be a Supportive Presence: Lastly, be there for preteens as they navigate the ups and downs of friendship. Offer a listening ear, words of encouragement, and a shoulder to lean on when needed. Knowing they have a supportive adult in their corner can make all the difference in their appreciation of friendship.


What specific words seem to enlighten them and make them feel good about themselves?


Specific words that can enlighten preteens and make them feel good about themselves include:

  1. Appreciation: Expressing gratitude for their efforts or qualities can boost their self-esteem. Saying things like “I appreciate your kindness” or “I’m grateful for your hard work” acknowledges their positive traits and actions.
  2. Encouragement: Using words of encouragement can motivate preteens to keep striving for their goals. Phrases like “You’re doing great” or “I believe in you” can instill confidence and inspire them to persevere.
  3. Validation: Validating their feelings and experiences can help preteens feel understood and accepted. Saying things like “It’s okay to feel that way” or “I understand why you’re upset” lets them know that their emotions are valid and worthy of acknowledgment.
  4. Compliments: Offering genuine compliments on their abilities, achievements, or personality traits can uplift preteens and boost their self-image. Whether it’s praising their creativity, intelligence, or sense of humor, positive feedback can reinforce their self-worth.
  5. Empowerment: Empowering preteens with affirming words can help them feel capable and confident. Phrases like “You have the strength to overcome challenges” or “You can achieve anything you set your mind to” encourage them to believe in themselves and their abilities.
  6. Inclusion: Making preteens feel included and valued can enhance their sense of belonging. Using inclusive language like “We’re glad to have you here” or “Your opinion matters to us” reinforces their importance within their social circles.
  7. Respect: Showing respect for their thoughts, opinions, and boundaries communicates that you value them as individuals. Saying things like “I respect your decision” or “Thank you for sharing your perspective” fosters mutual respect and trust.
  8. Affection: Expressing affection through words like “I love you” or “I care about you” can strengthen your bond with preteens and make them feel loved and cherished.
  9. Acknowledgment: Acknowledging their efforts, no matter how small, demonstrates that you notice and appreciate their contributions. Saying things like “I see how hard you’ve been working” or “You’re making progress” validates their efforts and encourages continued growth.
  10. Belief in Potential: Expressing belief in their potential can inspire preteens to strive for greatness. Phrases like “I know you can do amazing things” or “I have faith in your abilities” instill confidence and encourage them to pursue their dreams.


Please give examples on exactly what to say in each case.


Here are examples of what to say in each case:

  1. Appreciation: “Thank you for helping your friend when they needed it. Your kindness really made a difference.”
  2. Encouragement: “You’re doing a fantastic job on your project. Keep up the great work!”
  3. Validation: “It’s understandable that you feel frustrated. It’s okay to take a break and come back to it later.”
  4. Compliments: “Your artwork is incredible! You have such a talent for creativity.”
  5. Empowerment: “You have the skills and determination to overcome any challenge that comes your way.”
  6. Inclusion: “We’re so happy to have you as part of our group. Your perspective adds so much value to our discussions.”
  7. Respect: “I respect your decision not to participate in that activity. It’s important to honor your own boundaries.”
  8. Affection: “I love spending time with you. You bring so much joy into my life.”
  9. Acknowledgment: “I noticed how dedicated you’ve been to studying lately. Your hard work is paying off!”
  10. Belief in Potential: “I know you have the ability to achieve anything you set your mind to. I believe in you.”


Organizations, institutes, camps etc. that promote Friendship Internationally for young people – their varying emphasis, programs- successes and challenges.


Here are a few organizations, institutes, and camps from the US, China, and other countries that promote international friendship among children and young people:

  1. US – Sister Cities International (SCI):
  1. Emphasis: SCI focuses on fostering relationships between US cities and their international counterparts to promote cultural understanding and friendship.
  2. Programs: Sister Cities International organizes youth exchange programs where young people from different countries can visit each other’s cities, participate in cultural activities, and build lasting friendships.
  3. Successes: SCI has facilitated thousands of exchanges and partnerships between cities worldwide, promoting cross-cultural understanding and friendship.
  4. Challenges: Funding for such programs can be a challenge, and ensuring equal participation from both sides can sometimes be difficult.
  1. China – China Youth Corps (CYC):
  1. Emphasis: CYC emphasizes the development of youth leadership and international cooperation among Chinese youth.
  2. Programs: CYC organizes various international exchange programs, including summer camps, cultural immersion trips, and volunteer opportunities abroad.
  3. Successes: CYC has successfully facilitated exchanges with youth organizations and institutions in different countries, helping Chinese youth develop a global perspective and forge friendships with peers from around the world.
  4. Challenges: Language and cultural barriers can pose challenges to effective communication and interaction during international exchanges. Additionally, ensuring the safety and well-being of participants in foreign countries is a priority.
  1. Many Countries – AFS Intercultural Programs (headquartered in the US but operates globally):
  1. Emphasis: AFS focuses on promoting intercultural understanding and global citizenship through high school exchange programs and volunteer opportunities.
  2. Programs: AFS offers exchange programs where students live with host families in different countries, attend local schools, and participate in community activities. They also organize volunteer projects and cultural immersion programs.
  3. Successes: AFS has a long history of promoting international friendship and understanding, with alumni spanning across the globe who have developed lifelong friendships and valuable cross-cultural skills.
  4. Challenges: Ensuring the safety and well-being of participants, addressing logistical issues related to travel and accommodation, and managing cultural differences are common challenges faced by AFS and similar organizations.

Each of these organizations has its unique approach to promoting international friendship among children and young people, but they all share the common goal of fostering mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation across borders.


Please enlighten us about the “Basic Approach” in better detail.


The “Basic Approach” in the context of promoting international friendship among children and young people typically involves fundamental principles and strategies aimed at fostering cross-cultural understanding, empathy, and cooperation. Here’s a detailed exploration of the basic approach:

  1. Cultural Exchange: The cornerstone of promoting international friendship is facilitating cultural exchange. This involves creating opportunities for young people from different countries to interact, share their cultural traditions, beliefs, and values, and learn from one another. Cultural exchange can take various forms, including exchange programs, youth summits, cultural festivals, and language immersion experiences.
  2. Education and Awareness: Education plays a vital role in promoting international friendship by raising awareness about global issues, fostering empathy, and dispelling stereotypes and misconceptions. Educational initiatives may include workshops, seminars, and educational materials that focus on topics such as cultural diversity, global citizenship, human rights, and sustainable development.
  3. Interpersonal Communication: Effective communication is essential for building meaningful relationships and bridging cultural divides. Encouraging open and respectful dialogue among young people from different backgrounds promotes mutual understanding and helps break down barriers to friendship. Activities such as group discussions, team-building exercises, and collaborative projects encourage interpersonal communication and relationship-building.
  4. Empathy and Respect: Promoting empathy and respect is fundamental to fostering positive relationships and resolving conflicts peacefully. Emphasizing the importance of empathy allows young people to understand and appreciate the perspectives and experiences of others, even if they differ from their own. Respect for cultural differences, beliefs, and customs is essential for creating an inclusive and welcoming environment where friendships can flourish.
  5. Global Citizenship: Instilling a sense of global citizenship encourages young people to recognize their interconnectedness with people from around the world and take responsibility for making positive contributions to their communities and the world at large. Promoting values such as tolerance, compassion, and social responsibility empowers young people to become active agents of positive change and advocates for peace and justice.
  6. Cross-Cultural Competence: Developing cross-cultural competence equips young people with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to navigate diverse cultural environments successfully. This includes cultural sensitivity, adaptability, communication skills, and conflict resolution skills. Providing opportunities for cross-cultural learning and experiential learning experiences helps young people develop the competencies necessary for building and sustaining international friendships.
  7. Community Engagement: Engaging with local communities is essential for promoting international friendship and fostering meaningful connections between young people from different countries. Encouraging participation in community service projects, volunteer initiatives, and cultural exchange activities strengthens bonds between individuals and cultivates a sense of belonging and interconnectedness within a global community.

By embracing these principles and strategies, organizations, institutes, and camps can effectively promote international friendship among children and young people, fostering a more inclusive, tolerant, and interconnected world.


Please describe the actual activities in each of the above.


Certainly! Let’s delve into the specific activities corresponding to each aspect of the basic approach for promoting international friendship among children and young people:

  1. Cultural Exchange:
  1. Exchange Programs: Organizing student exchange programs where young people from different countries spend time living with host families, attending local schools, and participating in cultural activities.
  2. Youth Summits: Hosting international youth summits or conferences where young people come together to discuss global issues, share their perspectives, and collaborate on solutions.
  3. Cultural Festivals: Arranging cultural festivals or events that showcase the diversity of world cultures through music, dance, art, food, and traditional performances.
  4. Language Immersion Experiences: Facilitating language immersion programs where young people have the opportunity to learn a new language while interacting with native speakers and immersing themselves in the culture.
  1. Education and Awareness:
  1. Workshops and Seminars: Conducting workshops and seminars on topics such as cultural diversity, global citizenship, human rights, environmental sustainability, and social justice.
  2. Educational Materials: Developing educational materials such as books, videos, and online resources that explore global issues and promote intercultural understanding.
  3. Guest Lectures: Inviting guest speakers, including experts, activists, and community leaders, to deliver talks and presentations on relevant global issues and cultural topics.
  1. Interpersonal Communication:
  1. Group Discussions: Organizing facilitated group discussions and dialogue sessions where young people can share their thoughts, experiences, and perspectives on various cultural and social issues.
  2. Team-Building Exercises: Facilitating team-building activities and icebreaker games that promote collaboration, communication, and trust among participants from diverse backgrounds.
  3. Collaborative Projects: Encouraging young people to work together on collaborative projects, such as community service initiatives, art projects, or social campaigns, that require them to communicate and problem-solve as a team.
  1. Empathy and Respect:
  1. Empathy-Building Workshops: Conducting workshops and activities that help young people develop empathy by encouraging them to see the world from different perspectives and understand the experiences of others.
  2. Cultural Sensitivity Training: Providing training and guidance on cultural sensitivity, including how to recognize and respect cultural differences, avoid stereotypes, and navigate cross-cultural interactions respectfully.
  3. Conflict Resolution Training: Offering training in conflict resolution skills, including active listening, negotiation, and mediation, to help young people resolve conflicts peacefully and constructively.
  1. Global Citizenship:
  1. Community Service Projects: Engaging young people in community service projects that address local and global issues, such as poverty, education, healthcare, and environmental sustainability.
  2. Social Justice Advocacy: Encouraging young people to become advocates for social justice and human rights by raising awareness, organizing campaigns, and taking action on issues they care about.
  3. Cross-Cultural Leadership Development: Providing leadership development opportunities that empower young people to take on leadership roles and make a positive impact in their communities and the world.
  1. Cross-Cultural Competence:
  1. Cross-Cultural Training Workshops: Offering cross-cultural training workshops that focus on developing skills such as cultural sensitivity, communication, adaptability, and intercultural competence.
  2. Experiential Learning Activities: Facilitating experiential learning activities, such as role-playing simulations, cultural immersion experiences, and intercultural exchange programs, that allow young people to practice and apply cross-cultural competencies in real-world settings.
  1. Community Engagement:
  1. Volunteer Opportunities: Providing volunteer opportunities for young people to get involved in local community projects, social initiatives, and international development programs.
  2. Cultural Exchange Events: Organizing community events and cultural exchange programs that bring together people from different backgrounds to celebrate diversity, promote understanding, and build connections.
  3. Partnerships with Local Organizations: Collaborating with local organizations, schools, and community groups to engage young people in meaningful community service and cultural exchange activities that contribute to positive social change.

These activities, when implemented effectively, contribute to the overall goal of promoting international friendship among children and young people by fostering cultural understanding, empathy, and cooperation across borders. __________________________________________________