"We Are Family", Why?
Do you ever ask yourself – Why this family? Is there a purpose? How possible is it to belong genuinely, connected by similar values, actions and choices?
Simon Sinek gives an acclaimed TED talk on “Start With Why”, likely you are familiar with it or his book. Logically, we start introducing such initiatives at a business level, defining a company vision. It is not as emotional. We can be tactical. What if we reimagined starting at the core of everything we are, do and become? The more I learn and experience, my opinion, a defined or undefined why begins with the Family experiences.
What if you were asked to state for both your family of origin and the family you form, a Why? Could you? Healthy or unhealthy, what principles are guiding? The common thread all members share, support or display while encouraging the importance of the uncommon? Is it comparable from one unit to the other – or significantly and purposefully altered? Do you personally relate with it? Owning or disowning?
There seems to be a predominant belief around the why of family; stated or assumed, universal and uniquely. Containing values in words representing – love, belonging, unconditional, trust, acceptance….. There is a why we want to believe in, in this cornerstone unit that is responsible for shaping ourselves, our society, the world. Existing generation to generation, and does not need to be identified, it just is. Legacy. But what if a clear why is not shared or practiced amongst all members? A gap between what we want to have faith in and what realistically is becomes evident? Perhaps exposing self-serving survival - competition, judgement, division, dishonesty, insecurity….. This dysfunction and disrespect revealed more as we transition from growing up in, to having our own family, and or the loss of patriarch/matriarch?
Does opportunity exist within families to identify or create a vision and then live an authentic purpose? Could you have a family conversation about (or work at) who you are truthfully, what/how you are living, and where you are going? Both individually and together? What difference would become possible?
“Just Do It”, “Think Differently”, “Inspire a better life, a better way” crafted why’s consistent from personality to an ensuing culture… for yourself, we are family, Why?
I have extended an invite through previous blogs - "We Are Family, What and We Are Family, How" - to a survey on a family research project. Concluding this series with "We Are Family, Why", will you contribute to helping me, give back, by clicking (and passing on) the survey button that follows, please. Thanks for considering.
Conversations welcomed. ReImagine Possibilities., Inc.
Reason, Season or Lifetime?
If you know me you are aware, one of my favorite poems is, “People come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When you figure out which it is, you know exactly what to do….” – Brian A Chalker
This is quite evident when you attend a funeral, as I did this week. A friend’s mother was called home after 98 years, 11 kids, 2 marriages, 25 or so grandkids and over 50 great grandchildren. Her eulogies, given by 2 grandsons that happen to become priests, described beautifully how this amazing woman touched lives. And still was, as I felt moved. From my friend saying, she made every one of her children feel like they were the only one, to the comments of what an impact she had on the staff at the nursing home, and so much in between. It was obvious the depth this poem rang true. And perhaps you start to reflect on your own life.
Passionate about connecting, once you come into my life and I feel a relationship, I can logically accept it may be a reason or season. My heart, however, will hold you in it. For as long as you allow me to, or the rarity my heart is broken. Though sometimes challenging, ultimately, I feel blessed by this character trait. (Some may say flaw.) I am truly grateful for the how and why of our lives touching and thus say so out loud while I can.
Exactly what are we meant to do, though? A dear friend once said to me, “relationships are simply transactions”. Which does sort of sum up the poem as well. Originally taking a perspective this was a bit sad, I now embrace the truth it holds. Reimagining…We must choose those part of our day to day life. Significant to what we need or are doing presently. A reason? If a person is not relevant in the moment, there is only so much time and attention to give, it is not personal. A season? If we can fill one hand of those that time is never lost with, able to pick up as though it was yesterday. Or have an enduring, unconditional acceptance despite anything each other does. A blessing for a lifetime?
And at the end, when your life is being celebrated, the gathering of these different transactions may come together to remember how you affected their life; reason, season or lifetime. What is possible is ”...People will remember how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou.
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Happy International Women’s Day to all. Sincere and heartfelt thoughts to each and every woman for the gift you already are and are able to choose to become. Thank you to all the men that are supportive and caring.
For me it begs the question though, aren’t the other 364 days an observance of women too? (And when is Men’s day? Just curious.) In no way am I minimizing the importance of this celebration, recognition, stories, and more that are being promoted and shared. I cheer for them as truly outstanding! (As a girl, I too belted out “I Am Woman” with Helen Reddy)
I am suggesting an additional narrative though. Women are always deserving and worthy. I sometimes feel that women critically underappreciate themselves and the power they have always, and will forever hold. From a pure factual standpoint–without the role a woman owns, there is no human race. It does not get more powerful than that (I am not ignoring the man’s involvement and my faith must give due credit to the spirit of my God too). We should never underestimate that a woman in one way or another, deeply and greatly effects every individual’s life, as a mother, grandmother, wife, partner, employee, executive, entrepreneur, boss, caregiver and or friend. A woman stands in the background, and the foreground, constantly. You cannot avoid having a woman touch your life. Embrace this truth and the depth of its meaning.
So, this is where I get confused.
Why the desire to compare or divide the sexes when we do not have to? They are not comparable and exist only because of the other. I am not naively saying that life doesn’t hand women obstacles to overcome and we label them often around arguments over “being equals”. Reality, there is no equal. Equality is a perception and an evolving, unattainable goal. There is mutual respect. Where equality may exist is agreeing we are ALL a one of a kind, unique individual. Ideally, measuring our being from the inside, not out. Are we fulfilling our distinct potential? Are we living our best in every moment? Do we simply and completely accept ourselves as we are right now? And from the outside, may we be valued for our character, experiences, contributions and empathy. Assessed by our talents, abilities, knowledge and kindness. Obviously, so many opportunities exist to offer each other, deserving, mutual respect.
May I propose reimagining this day?
Are we celebrating being special? We need what differentiates one another, and that is the point.
Are we acknowledging redefining limits and where they come from? We are never without the option to choose.
Are we respecting achievements? We can find success wherever we seek to embrace it.
Happy International “I am being the one and only me, to the best of my capabilities, breaking all boundaries day”.
If open to the possibilities.
*Lyrics of Helen Reddy’s, “I am Woman”. Written by DAVID DUNDAS,EDDIE HOWELL
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