October 7     

Today's quotation:

No matter what you've done for yourself or for humanity, if you can't look back on having given love and attention to your own family, what have you really accomplished?

Elbert Hubbard

Today's Meditation:

There are many people in this world who treat their co-workers and their colleagues better than they treat their families.  They're stricter with their children and less forgiving of mistakes; they're more critical of their spouses and have higher (and usually unrealistic) expectations of them.  They're more than willing to spend time in a bar "unwinding" with colleagues, but generally don't take their families out at all.  This is a sad way to go through life, of course, but many people do so-- and they don't even notice what they're doing.

Our families are a group of human beings entrusted to us.  No, we don't have to support every member of our families, and we aren't necessarily our brothers' keepers all of the time.  But we do have a special bond with these people, and the best thing that we can do is to honor that bond and give our love and compassion to those people closest to us.

Sometimes it takes a lot of effort.  Sometimes our children seem to have done certain things just to get us mad.  Sometimes we don't understand how our spouses could have forgotten just how important that certain something is to us.  But that's just our limited perspective playing unpleasant games with us, making us imagine transgressions that truly aren't there at all.  And sometimes we just take for granted the idea that our families are there for us, whenever.  We forget that they, too, need attention and love and compassion.  We end up neglecting those very people whom we should never be neglecting.

Family takes effort.  Sometimes the effort seems huge in scope, but usually it's just a bit of effort here and there-- but it's effort nonetheless.  And our effort to share our love and time and presence with our families will bear great rewards, as long as we don't raise our expectations to meet our efforts.  And those rewards will help us to be leading a very rich life, indeed.

Questions to consider:

How does it become so easy to neglect our families?

What are some of the joys that your family brings to your life?

What are some things that you can do today to let your family members know that you love and respect them?

For further thought:

People I deal with in the media are often surprised that I'll put family needs before some potentially grand media success.  I could be away from home every day of the year if that kind of success and excitement were my first priority, but it's terribly important to me to protect those things that are most intimate.  Ultimately, my family gives me more pleasure than whatever outside opportunity looks alluring at the moment.

Thomas Moore

more thoughts and ideas on family



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