“The family is the nucleus of civilization.”
– Will Durant
Happy New Year everyone!
This year, the inspiration for my New Year’s “Revelations” stem from some of the experiences, life events and lessons learned in the past year.
For me, it was – as Charles Dickens wrote (in A Tale of Two Cities) – “the best of times, it was the worst of times…. it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…”
And with each year comes more wisdom.
I hope that some or all of these revelations resonate with you.
It all begins and ends with Family. It forms the core of our belief system and is the springboard from which we go on to conduct the rest of our lives. Family supersedes nationalistic ideals, political aspirations and even religious dogma. Family. Is. Everything. Well, at least it should be.
In a Utopian world, the family should be a “safe harbor” where we are loved, cherished, encouraged, and understood. It is an entity that should be devoid of judgment, jealousy, gossip, or hatred and replete with loyalty, familiarity – a strong sense of shared history and kinship. It is a clanship which fosters collaboration over divisiveness. In a Utopian world.
There are some who are blessed with an idyllic family.
There are others whose families do not withstand the passage of time and who crack or even fall apart when tested by hardship or tragedy.
Sadly, there are still more who are born into dysfunctional, damaged, and abusive families.
And then there are those who are left adrift – with no family at all.
“There is no such thing as a “broken family.” Family is family, and is not determined by marriage certificates, divorce papers, and adoption documents. Families are made in the heart. The only time family becomes null is when those ties in the heart are cut. If you cut those ties, those people are not your family. If you make those ties, those people are your family. And if you hate those ties, those people will still be your family because whatever you hate will always be with you.”
– C. JoyBell C.
My husband and I have built, for over three decades, that safe harbor we call our intimate family. It’s just the two of us… and all the beloved four-legged creatures who inhabit our house. This “safe harbor” has withstood the passage of time, despite many storms and even some typhoons. We are weather-beaten but happy sailors in this journey that is our life. Unfortunately, we have witnessed a few wreckages along the way.
“There is no greater blessing than a family hand that lifts you from a fall; but there is not lower curse than a family hand that strikes you when you’re down.”
– Wes Fessler
And, as we all know, blood does not necessarily form a family bond. Families can be born from the heart… by choice. However the connection is formed, the important thing is to understand and maintain the true notion of Family.
We may not live in a Utopian world… but we can (and should) certainly strive to get there.
“In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future.”
– Alex Haley
Some Book Recommendations:
Family Values: The Ethics of Parent-Child Relationships – by Harry Brighouse & Adam Swift
Why Can’t We Get Along: Healing Adult Sibling Relationships – by Peter Goldenthal
Photo via pdpics.com