I recently visited Xi'an, China, to be with my parents. They are still living in the same complex where I grew up, and they have been there for the past 50 years.
My parents choose not to move elsewhere because the community is amazingly supportive. Friendly and warm-hearted neighbors are like families to each other. They keep an eye on the apartments and help each other when one is in need. They hang around, play, dance, or go out grocery shopping together.
Both of my parents are at their 80's, and most people living close-by are as old as them, so I watched how many others were using wheelchairs or walking with tremendous difficulty. But mom walked with me for a whole day on foot, and then we went back, she went up two steps at the time, going upstairs with ease. My father's skin is smooth and shining, and his hair is still pretty much all black. All of these convinced me how it is so important to take care of one's health, so one can grow older healthily and gracefully. Mom is still very active: she has organized two groups, one is about 20 people who play folk music instruments and do performances during the holidays; while another group is for healing and health. She started a new trigger point massage healing room, and trained seven volunteers who offer service to their community.
One of my important reasons for making the visit was to help my dad get a hearing-aid, since he could not hear me over the phone, but he told me he already got a hearing aid, but it makes so much static noises, he does not want to wear it. A week after I was there, I took a walk with him as we did everyday, and we chattered all along. To my surprise, without the hearing aid, he responded to my every word. His hearing is finally coming back clearly after mom had been working on him for one month and half. I decided to learn this new healing technique from her.
I was born and grew up in Xi'an until I was 18 years old. This gigantic ancient city still nourishes and holds my roots and basic understanding of a good life, healthy friendship, effective healing, and much more.