In the midst of the increasingly chaotic and toxic world, I’ve been really trying to think about my plans of action in a positive manner. Plan of Action – Education spoke on the misconceptions we have on proper education and new ways to think. I want to propose a new way to think about family.
For this post, I will define family as a group of people who are not necessarily blood relations but who share common attitudes, interests, or goals and, frequently, live together. This definition is extremely important because of the way families have diverged from the “nuclear family” to something more amorphous.
Specifically, I say this because of the various amounts of familial love I’ve been shown by various groups in the past. Being able to be brought into different households and be treated warmly changes how you look at what a family is.
At the same time, there has been increasing levels of divisiveness amongst different branches of the same bloodline. I would like to propose a different thinking. It’s not new, in fact, it’s very old, but I feel it could be very valuable to explore. I believe we should treat family like a tribe.
Seth Godin is using the phrase tribe to symbolize the evolution of community and using that power to rally around an idea to change the world. The idea of finding something worth changing and assembling people with that same values to change the world. Starting a movement is a powerful concept. But what if you already have people with the same basic goals? Why not start there?
I’ve seen siblings fall out with each other over money. I’ve seen cousins not speak for years because of a love interest. I’ve watched adults undercut and abuse children because of a fear that someone else’s child might be more successful than you or yours. Why does this exist? It used to be that one family member’s success was the other’s. When did it become normal to in-fight amongst the community and families? Friendly competition isn’t friendly anymore.
Individualism has found its way into the nation’s smallest common denominator and broke up the family unit. Children will despise their parents and parental favorites have destroyed entire lineages. I want to bring back the tribal/familial mindset.
I’m talking about family meetings about financial plans, annual trips, family owned property, joint savings, cross-branch support of children, and even smaller things like family motto, crest, colors, and philosophies. This is not to say there won’t be disagreements but we have to create more opportunities to create a greater legacy together. We can start laying the building blocks for the road we will take in the future but we have to start today.
I’m not the best with reaching out or developing relationships with family I don’t see often, but that is part of the reason why this is needed. We need reasons to not look at our family members as just people who look like you (or not). We all have a common goal of to succeed in life, but my success does not undercut yours. We can support each other while going in different directions or push each other along in the same way. I want to build a family that looks at each other’s success with pride, not envy.
You may not know it, but your choices now will affect your children and their children years to come. Why not make that impact a positive one?
Any ideas of family traditions you want to start for your children? Anything that you currently do that you’d want to continue? Anything that didn’t work for you and why? Any successes of note? Leave them in the comments below.
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