Having an amazing life couldn’t be complete without discussing your family love.
I see a lot of couples regarding their broken relationships. When I sat down and went through the many case histories I wanted to know what was common to most of them. On re-reading these cases I noticed that a large percentage, approximately 89% came from what I will call dysfunctional family backgrounds.
Not so long ago, you, me, in fact most people, would belong to a family unit. This family would be made up of two parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and many more offspring. We would have been in close proximity to them, sometimes living in the same street and we would see them often and know everyone in this family unit.
Today we have what I call “Dysfunctional Families”. These families are not your typical family where true love is given freely, where young children are nurtured and loved. Dysfunctional families are much different and because they are very different, they ultimately produce a different person.
Families today are not the typical two parent and four children. Today some children have four parents, a step-mother and a step father. Children have had to live through painful divorce or separations.
The constant arguing between adults who no longer love each other affects the children for life. Today adults are ending relationships and beginning new ones all the time. Fighting parents often use their children as pawns between themselves during their constant arguing and fight for control.
Today the world appears to be smaller. With modern communication and faster air travel, people say it feels smaller. So with the advent of this feeling of a small world people can, and often do, move away from their families because it is easy to keep the relationship going. But is it?
Look at what happens to relationships when people immigrate to other countries. Many immigrants attempt to bring their original culture with them in an effort to feel like the family is still together, but of course it isn’t. Attempting to bring a culture into another country has been shown to be mostly unsuccessful.
Racial tensions throughout many parts of the world are at an all time high so it hasn’t worked. By it not working, we have again produced a different type of child, a child without grand parents close by to talk with. This child has a new world to go into alone. Thus we end up with teenagers who have no respect for themselves, no respect for other people’s property or life. They end up with little or no patriotism for their adopted family or country, because it’s not really theirs.
Today there are more people who have decided to separate than ever before. This situation can and often does create appalling conditions for children because two grown adults cannot agree to behave like adults, the children are suddenly torn apart and often scared for life.
Children often find themselves confused and angry. Many children even believe it’s their own fault that their parents have separated. The children are then put through more torture as parents continue to argue in front of the children, often sending the child into a life of bitterness. The child eventually grows up burdened by guilt, has very low self-confidence and is afraid to begin a relationship. If they do eventually marry, in the back of their mind there is that doubt that it will end up like their parents. Marriage, what can you say about an institution that is fast becoming extinct?
Single Parent by choice
Just look at what we are given permission to do these days. Today a woman can become a single mother. She can raise that child without a father figure and the child is brought up with this mother’s beliefs and nothing else. The child has to go through school telling other children that his mother decided to have a baby on her own. How is this child going to explain that to others?
Today you can select the baby of your dreams, like selecting fruit for your dessert. Do you want your baby to have blue eyes? Where is this going to stop?
You and I were born and from that moment on we became learning machines, like you I was hungry to learn how to eat and walk and grow up. I was one of the lucky ones, I had a large family that kept me as part of the family.
When I lecture around the world it’s like there is a ground swell of support that wants to go back to the old days again. We already go back to the old days with music and fashion, why can’t we do it with relationships and marriage and families?
Now we all know that life changes all the time. I was visiting a Nursing Home recently and was enjoying an afternoon cup of tea and a chat with a man who was 95 years young and his mind was sharper than most of us. Incidentally, if you ever want to find a way to make yourself feel really good, go and visit an elderly person in a Nursing Home, they will love having someone to talk to and you will reap the benefits.
Well this man was telling me about the first time he heard that America was going to put a man on the moon. He even remembered saying to himself that it would never happen in his day. Just imagine what a man of 95 years has seen happen in his lifetime. I was there to enjoy chatting to people, but also to do some research.
He told me he came from a German family who moved from Berlin after the war and then to Australia. He has five children, seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren. When I asked him about how his children’s lives were compared to his, he looked sad as he told me about all the problems he had seen his children go through. Marriage breakdowns, divorce and one of his children was in the middle of a separation as we spoke.
I didn’t want to have this lovely man feeling depressed so I thought a good way out of this was to ask him to compare what trouble his children had been through compared to him or even his parent’s life. As I had thought, he immediately changed his sadness to tenacity and began telling me that back in his day he was running around getting out of the way of bombs dropping. “Now that was a real problem” he said. “We had little or no food, so we took it in turns queuing for days just for a crumb”.
I chipped in with a few things. I mentioned to him that the problems of his children were their making. Divorcing and separations normally needed two people. Running for your life from bombs wasn’t his making because he didn’t start the war. He thought for a while and agreed with me. His children had been intimately involved in the creating of their own problems, he hadn’t.
I spoke to another elderly person while I was there and she was 97. I wish I had met her earlier because her life was so remarkable that I would love to write a book about her.
She was first married at the age of 17 and this marriage lasted ten years before they divorced. She said they both agreed they were too young and she added that he drank himself to death a few years later. She then re-married and this marriage lasted nineteen years before he died of cancer. Well, what a life she had had so far. She then immigrated to another country and at the age of forty-two married a man of thirty-seven. At age forty-four she gave birth to another child, this time a son. Now she had eleven.
I asked her about her life and if she had ever felt depressed, but she was quick to reply that back then there was no such thing as people with depression. She went on to tell me that with the entire country in depression she was too busy trying to carve out a life. When the only thing you wake up to is how to survive you become used to it and just get on with it.
She would start her day at 5am and walk through snow and rain into the town and clean and polish other peoples homes for a few pennies. Then she would walk all the way back home again and get her children ready for school. She would then walk them to school and come home and start cleaning her own home. By mid morning she would be out in the fields working and by mid afternoon back in town cleaning other people’s houses.
Her day would end at darkness when she could do no more in the fields. By then the children would have walked home on their own and she would start the meal. Her husband left at 5am looking for work and returned about 6pm.
This was her life back in the depression days. I asked her about her children and she smiled and said to me, “I’m glad I’m not just starting out like these young ones”. I found this an amazing thing for her to say, especially as she had seen so much change in her lifetime. She simply said, “Young man (that’s me) back in my day there was no such thing as these drugs”. She had a point. “We didn’t have the dangers that young people have to face today. We didn’t even have a lock on the front door of our house” she said.
“Today we have a much different world to live in. Today we have people from every part of the world all attempting to live together in a place where their families are not with them. It’s little wonder it’s not working”, she said. So what will work?
Call me foolish, call me a dreamer, or simply call me a romantic, but I hold a belief that people are very resourceful. People can and do adapt to change and can carve out new things. However, my belief is also that once we go back to creating a family unit that operates as a family used to operate, our young people will have a much better chance of growing into wonderful adults.
We want adults that don’t need to steal off others, adults that are accountable for their own actions. We need adults to behave as adults in the sense that young people have others to look up to. The only hero worship that goes on now is that of celebrity or sports people. I can’t imagine how the young people who idolised John McEnroe have turned out, can you? (that was a joke).
You and your family can make a huge impact in this world. You and your family can bring about the type of change that allows your family to breed respectable children who can read and write. Children who say please and thank you and mean it. Children are our greatest resource so we have to nurture their growth by going back to basics first.
If your goal in life is to be an amazing person, then look after your future. Take time to love your children.