My focus today is on family.I am from a very diverse family that has come from different places and subsequently spread across the world. It is exciting to see how we all respond to the things around us. It is even more fun to watch the different personalities at work and the impact this has on family relationships. Meetings are often a riot as our personalities and styles come out when we are discussing issues. I can classify us loosely into three main categories. There are the feisty pushy ones, the quiet non-confrontational and the detached ones. Each group is well represented and needs to be handled in a manner that ensures discussion but pushes for the impact and decisions needed. Every time we sit together and that is 3 times a year at least, the mix of personalities adds such flavour to life that just knowing the agenda creates intense anticipation. One element that has created the differences is the method of socialisation of the individual family units. The mode of socialisation of respective families is the major deciding factor of how we have turned out as individuals.
A critical lesson and realisation we have come to recently and with great conviction, is the fact that “Family, is family is family!!!” Now that may sound pretty simple but take a moment and a deep breath and think about this statement. The reality is that no matter what the person has done or hasn’t done for that matter this person is family. We are not idealistic about life and no, we aren’t all successful. We have had our share of poor performers alongside greatly successful people…yet at the end of the day we all share the same gene pool and we are family. It doesn’t mean that we condone all the actions of all members, however, everyone is held to account for their actions and there are consequences for all actions.
The reality that has dawned on me is that every failure is communal failure and every success if communal success. The communal is not necessarily that we split the wealth but we do split the pride and confidence of the win. Case in point, recently one of my nieces graduated with her Master’s and you should see how proud we are of her. Family is not a pot where you just dip your fingers in and take out whatever you need. Family doesn’t always give you money when you need it but they will send you in the right direction to find what you need. Family is an oasis in this world that should provide a support structure and basis for life.
Beyond my biological family but I have another family… my family of choice and association. This is made up of people who are connected to me in other ways like through common causes supported, faith-based relationships and close friends. This family provides similar support structures like my biological family. This is a connection by choice and instruction and the members change and will continue to change as I walk this road and move from level to level. This family is dynamic and over the years has evolved and changed yet it still provides a great support system
I have come to believe that Family is not:
- A group of yes men and women
- A free pass to a life of laziness
- A blanket pot of love and acceptance
- Only based on a genetic or biological connection
- A place of safety and honesty
- A support system to resource location and procurement
- The connector to success and resilience
- Critical to our personal success
- By revelation of the people who will make your life more effective
- The base and strength of society
- The source of the push, nudge or kick you need to get ahead
My prayer for everyone is that we connect to our biological families and the other individuals who will push us to become the best we can be and create the value and impact we give back to the world.