Blood Makes Us Relatives, Love and Respect Makes Us Family
We came into this world as if we had fallen from a chimney. At that moment, we are joined with a number of people whose blood and genes we share. A family that will make us fit into its particular world and tries to instill in us its values.
Everyone has a family. Having one is pretty simple: we all have an origin and roots. However, maintaining it and making it grow, nourishing the link day after day to stay united, is a whole other story.
We all have mothers, fathers, brothers, aunts and uncles. Sometimes there is a large number of relatives who we probably have failed to see or deal with. Should we feel guilty about it?
The truth is that sometimes we feel a “moral” obligation to get along with that cousin with whom we share very few interests, and who has made so many slights towards us throughout our life. Blood may unite us, but life does not fit our pieces together, so distancing ourselves or keeping the conversation short, but fair, shouldn’t cause us any trauma.
But what happens when these people we just mentioned are in our immediate family? Such as our parents or siblings?
The link that goes beyond blood
Sometimes we tend to think that being a family means sharing something more than blood or the same family tree. Some people almost unconsciously believe that a child should have the same values as the parents, sharing the same ideology and manner of conduct.
There are parents who are surprised by the differences between siblings. How can that be if they are all children of the same womb? It’s like saying that in the family there has to be an explicit harmony, where there are no excessive differences, where no one should stray from the “pattern,” and everything is controlled and orderly.
While clearly our personality is not genetically transmitted 100%, some traits can be inherited, and certainly living in the same environment as someone will cause us to share a number of things. But children are not molds of their parents, nor will parents ever be able to get their children to be as excited as they are about fulfilling the expectations they’ve set for them.
Personalities are dynamic, changing all the time and do not conform to the barriers that parents try to put up. From this the usual disappointments, clashes, disagreements emerge.
To create a family bond that is strong and secure, differences must be respected, and independence and safety must be promoted. The essence of each person, their wonderful individuality, must be respected, without putting up barbed wire, without sanctioning every word or action.
Key to families living in harmony
Sometimes, many parents watch their children leave the family home without maintaining much contact. There are siblings who stop talking to each other and many families who look at empty chairs positioned quietly in their living rooms.
What is this?
It is clear that every family is different, a “microworld” with its patterns and beliefs. However, the purpose of education is to give the world people who are confident in themselves, capable and independent so they can achieve their happiness, and in turn offer it to others. How is this achieved? Offering a sincere love that prevails and which does not control. A love that does not punish someone for how they are, how they think or how they act.
We can’t blame others for what happens to us. Do not blame your mother or father because today you still feel insecure and unable to do certain things. Or maybe that sibling who was always favored or cared for more than us.
Clearly, when it comes to educating, we always make mistakes. But we must also take control of our lives, and know how to react, have a voice, say no, and believe that we can safely and maturely to undertake new projects and dreams without being slaves of family memories from the past .
Being family does not require always sharing the same opinions and views. And for that reason we shouldn’t judge, punish or disregard anyone. Behaviors such as these create distances and cause us to find more loyalty in friends than in our family.
Sometimes, we have the “moral obligation” to continue maintaining contact with those relatives who hurt, bother or put us down. They are family, no doubt, but we must consider that what really matters in this life is to be happy and have an internal balance. An inner peace. If those relatives violate our rights, we must distance ourselves from them.
The greatest family virtue is accepting each other as they are, in harmony, with love and respect.
Image Courtesy: Karen Lee Jones