We are all different – but we are family

Footsteps and Fingerprints

We are all different – but we are family

In every family there is always the pull and tug of relationships … between siblings, between age groups, between parents and children, among relatives to all degrees. But the bottom line is that we remain “family”.

We will not lose each other through misunderstandings, disagreements or arguments if we remain open and in communication. Open, meaning open-minded, aware, and responsive to each other’s feelings. Open, meaning receptive to change.

Each of us have been affected by the events in the past. What lies before us will depend on how we react to the past and respond to the future. Reacting is doing or saying something quickly without thinking about how your action or words would affect other people; reacting generally has a 50-50 chance of being correct. Responding on the other hand is doing or saying something that will have a positive impact and will initiate an up building effect in the situation; responding with empathy does not create hurts, or misunderstandings that are difficult to forgive, or that damage relationships.

Responding positively with empathy means not taking offense at something said, but looking behind the meaning of what has been said or done, sort of reading between the lines and seeking to understand where that person is coming from.

However we should not just concentrate on responding. In order for us to grow and mature, we need to be able to initiate change, to not focus on what we cannot change, but to move on and focus on what good we can do, on beginning to begin a transformative change rather than just thinking or talking about change and how to make things better.

In conversing with another person, we can talk more about their interests in life, instead of dwelling on a litany of our own personal hurts, our health concerns, or our hardships. The more we think about the hard times we have been through, the less time we have to think about how we can do better in the tomorrows to come. Hard times are a normal part of life; it is how we respond to these hard times that counts and forms our character into either an optimistic person or a pessimistic person.

Communication is so important. Family relationships, indeed all kinds of relationships, need to be built over time, but they can be destroyed in a single word. That is why we all need to be open with each other, but without the intention to hurt the other. Relationships need to be nurtured … one letter, one note card, one telephone call, one or two texts are not nurturing. We each have to do our part in opening and maintaining communication lines.