We live in times where we can over prioritise personal objectives and take family for granted. It’s understandable, family remains a constant whilst our personal ambitions need time and attention. During these moments of striving we experience ups and downs and sometimes loss. Our commitment to family life takes a back seat as we delve into personal fulfilment. After all isn’t personal wealth and well-being the reason for our existence?
Family equals happiness
There is no joy greater than being part of a family. The moments of growth are the best. For example, the buzz in the air during a wedding to welcome the new bride and groom. Or how about the renaissance of love when a baby enters the scene. Looking around at families during these delightful periods gives me a sense of being and I’ve come to a conclusion: I truly exist when in the presence of family.
Times of sorrow
Like everything in life, families go through spells of difficulty. Illness or death are the worst of these but out of them comes something special. Against all odds a family will come together and bond. Members will support each other, console, cheer up and perhaps speak truths that only a member could get away with. Either way the intention is to help and improve each other’s state of mind. We do this with no individual reward in the offering; it’s a selflessness that I wish could be used with outsiders. Think how the world would be then!
The Black Sheep
What interests me is that some people wish to be the black sheep of their family. It’s almost cool and rebel like! The thing is if everyone fancies this role within a family, you end up with no family. Just individuals across the world saying the same thing, ‘They just don’t understand me ‘. Evidently, they’re more alike than first thought, as they’re all fighting for the same spot!
There are no ways of avoiding this. At some stage a family will be tested when a few or more members fundamentally disagree on something. To be honest, I think this is a good thing providing there are agreeable solutions. These moments force you into reflection and more importantly into the psyche of others. This greater level of understanding can help create stronger bonds and generally lead to more selfless actions.
Where else can you truly practice this virtue? If you’re incapable of forgiving a family member then who can you forgive? Of course I’m not talking about severe crimes against humanity but other actions that in time seem petty. As we are all humans capable of making mistakes perhaps forgiveness should be practiced more and families provide the best forum for this. Also we never know when we will benefit from another’s forgiveness. It’s surprising just how long a grudge can last for. Months turn into years and then decades. Every day a grudge is held longer, it becomes harder to make the first move. Fear of rejection takes over and the years pass by.
When we are young we imagine our families to be around forever. We can at times take them for granted. Unfortunately, our modern society opens the door to things like ego, money and pride. As a result, our family harmony becomes under threat. I’ve noticed when a family intentionally guards against such idiosyncrasies they’re able to achieve more compassion, loyalty and most importantly love. The strategies they use are to inform children from an early age about the corrupting nature of ego and pride. Also, and perhaps most importantly, the parents or guardians lead by example, allowing others to not only follow but to excel in building their own family. Once mastered, the protection, inspiration and love of a healthy family can help us overcome almost anything. We feel love more often and take more risks knowing full well that our families will ultimately love us for who we are, even if it does take a while.
As always, thanks for reading.
The Young Philosopher BCN