Families that Discuss together, stay together

Families that Discuss together, stay together
Families that Discuss together, stay together

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Vision to Improve Family

A great family has a vision of purpose or mission—they actively create their life together while other families are created by life, passively waiting to see where their life’s activities take them next. A successful family improves the environment by working hard along side each other in such activities as chores, family meals, routines, family meetings, trainings and spiritual worship. Of course, they are not perfect, but they know a few secrets that help them to be successful.

An attitude of serving each other is a significant link to a successful and happy family. It enlivens the giver and favors the receiver. The Arbinger Institute has discovered a solution to an age-old dilemma of behavioral problems. In their book, The Choice, it infers that responding to others in service is the root of our personal happiness. They observe that on the surface, humans differ extensively, but below that surface and at the level of who we are, there are only two ways that we differ—we either respond to others needs or we resist their needs. By seeing another as a “person” we respond to them in a personal and caring way. By seeing them as an “object” we inadvertently resist their needs.

When we choose to see another as an object we habitually form false ideas in our mind, thus we betray ourselves. An example would be when a mother senses a need to bond with a child, and does not follow through; she is soon filled with guilt. But rather than returning to her responsibility of following through, she begins to put her blame on someone or something. In this case, she begins to fill her mind with degrading thoughts about her husband and his neglect of the child in question. She, therefore, transferred her responsibility (her feeling that she should bond with her child) to someone else. The moment we choose to resist any individual’s need is the moment we go down the dark path of self-betrayal.

If we choose to resist service to others we are betraying our deepest sense of what is right. When we positively respond to another’s need, we portray our deepest sense of what is right.

Leading by example coupled with real intent is an effective tool to silently teach. Individuals learn more perfectly from a leader’s example. A parent acting how he wants his child to act will have a greater impact on what they become than from any other manner of teaching. Expedition leader Ernest Shackleton portrayed an excellent standard of example on Britain’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914. Upon asking his men to do something, he would be the first to comply. All of the men on the voyage survived the difficult expedition because of the morale and good attitude learned from their leader’s example. One of his men wrote that [Shackleton] was “the greatest leader ever came on God’s earth, bar none.” Similarly, a parent’s example and pure motive will empower their children to become well behaved.

Michael E. Gerber, of The E-Myth Revisited, enlightens the reader on the attitude that drives example, “The work we do is a reflection of who we are. If we’re sloppy at it, it’s because we’re sloppy inside. If we’re late at it, it’s because we’re late inside. If we’re bored by it, it’s because we’re bored inside, with ourselves, not with the work. The most menial work can be a piece of art when done by an artist. So the job here is not outside of us, but inside of us. How we do our work becomes a mirror of how we are inside.” Those with whom we live exemplify the vision of who we are.
Success in the family depends a great deal on selfless service and genuine example.

It is not enough to live together, eat together and work together. Positively responding to one another will enhance relationships plus improve morale and behavior. In this setting, family meals, meetings and trainings become more meaningful and chores feel more like charitable service.

—Julie Greenman
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