Change is tough. For some, really tough. It’s in these times that we as individuals rely on friends, and more importantly, family to look adversity in the face and persevere. In my experience, almost every family interacts, shows and receives love differently. However; one thing I have always noticed stands true: loving families in one way or another have each other’s backs.
I have had the great opportunity in my life to be exposed to many different wonderful family units. In every instance, each family defines what it means to be “close” differently. One family might be close in the sense that they spend a lot of time together. Another family might define being close by making sure that they support each other in certain major life endeavors. And yet, another family might define being close by only seeing each other at birthdays, holidays, and other major events.
I am not here to judge any way that a family shows and receives love. My only goal is to seek out commonalities I have experienced, and try to pass on some wisdom along the way.
Whatever the case may be with our respective specific family units, we mustn’t try to compare one and another’s. The reason being: we don’t know how and why other families operate and interact the way they do. Families are very intimate units, and to try as an outsider to take an introspective look inside someone else’s family is difficult at best. That being said, if we do decide to go ahead and play the compare game, we are not comparing “apples to apples.”
A much better approach is to observe other’s interactions and see what we might be able to iterate into our own family unit. For example: if you notice that one of your friends families gets together every Sunday for a family dinner to spend quality time together and they are always talking about how it has been a staple in their life and an event they all look forward to: maybe you should try tom incorporate some aspect of this into your family. I am not saying that you have to meet every week for 10 hours, that can be a bit much for some families, or not even possible due to logistics for others. However; maybe you can take the initiative to schedule a monthly family dinner, or a weekly call with each of your family members. Do whatever works for your specific case, the what is not important, it is the why that means the most.
Another commonality I have noticed between families is that it only takes one person to take the initiative and others usually jump on board, this is what we call the old “bandwagon” method.
Take initiative to keep your family close. I, as have many of you, lost close family members that we all wish we had more time with. In the world we live in today, it is easy to become blinded by what doesn’t really matter and therefore lose time we can never get back. Be the change you ant to see in your family. Remember, it only takes one, and that one can be you.
- Research the 5 love languages and think through how your family gives and receives love
- Do not compare other families to yours, it’s not “apples to apples”
- Be keen to observe how other families interact, and brainstorm how you can mold certain aspects into your family
- Take initiative and action
- Remember, push-back will happen. It is only feedback, try another approach and persevere
Be great, nothing else pays.