This I believe …
I believe in family, the loud, busy, sometimes in your face and always there when you need them family. Not everyone gets to participate in this kind of family. If you have one, you are blessed; and if do not then start one. I am gifted with a great family and I want to share some of the cornerstone values. A healthy family has certain characteristics, that earmark them for success, such as interacting together, an identified center where everyone is equally loved, and an environment of accepting, liking and loving each other, and most of all forgiveness.
A good family talks; a great family interacts together. They laugh a lot, share good times and are the first one there during the bad times. Like the night my sons stayed at a roadside wreck to identified their deceased Aunt, so their cousins and uncle would not have this terrible memory embedded in their minds. Great families use holidays, birthdays and world series games to enjoy family. Families show up to paint the bathroom or move you across country twelve times in 5 years. No matter the stress or the problem it is somehow lighter when shared with family. Good news, births, and weddings are more joyful when shared with the people who know how hard it was getting there.
The family must have a center. Usually it is a parent, it was my mother and dad for years. Later after their death, it is my oldest sister. She is the first person after my husband, that I share good news and bad. This rock who ever he or she is, makes themselves available to all the family. It is often where the family gathers for holidays and definitely where they gather in adversity. It always feels safe at their house. If you are privileged to be that center, you will shape the lives and morals of the people you love. If your family does not have a center, then consider becoming its heart.
Accepting each other and forgiving each other are essential ingredients in family. Who among us does not need to be accepted or forgiven? It is especially important when this comes from your family, the people who know all your secrets, and love you anyway. One of the elements that supports family is that sibling are never allowed to fight with each other. That does not mean that as children they may do this but they know it is not accepted or condoned by parents therefore it is something they will discard as adults.
Yes, this I believe, family is the foundation on which to build your life. If you do not have such a family then start one. It only requires people who are open to loving each other, and not necessarily related by blood. Family serves us in adversity and in celebration. It is the way we humans pass on love, support and tradition.
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