Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Now, there's a powerful word. Over the years, it has come to mean everything from a group with similar goals (e.g. a crime family) to our domestic unit of living. Most of us have been lucky enough to have family, a group of people who share DNA with us (or married someone who did...but I digress) and who, presumably, care about us. Even these geese are family with the adults protectively surrounding the little ones (the world belongs to the children, and the children belong to us all). The families I have seen have been the best and the worst thing to ever happen to its members.
I have seen those families that stand shoulder to shoulder, love one another and are supportive in a way that can only come from a place of love. Hello Ozzie and Harriet, Father Knows Best and I Remember Mama. In the real world, however, it often doesn't go as well.
I have also seen families that come from a place of fear. It may come out as anger, meanness and abuse, but you can be sure there is a fear in there somewhere. These families wound their young, do not know how to take care of themselves and serve only as a destructive force in their children's' lives. They don't mean to, they cannot help it. Their behavior is fear based, even though they do not realize it. Unable to get beyond their own needs, they strike out at perceived threats and wound those around them. The results are what put their children in therapy.
If the offspring do find healing, it can take 7 generations until the behavior is gone. Anyway, I thought of this as I came ashore from yesterday's paddle on Lake Michigan and discovered one family feeding junk food to another...six feet from the "Do not feed the wild birds" sign. At least that wasn't fear based.
Paddle safe...

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