Monday, March 23, 2009


Wooden pathway by the lake - “To begin to think with purpose is to enter the ranks of those strong ones who only recognize failure as one of the pathways to attainment.”

Two men met at a bus stop and struck up a conversation. One of them complained of family problems.

Finally, the other man said, "You think you have family problems? Listen. A few years ago I met a young widow with a grown-up daughter, and we got married. Later my father married my stepdaughter. That made my stepdaughter my stepmother and my father became my stepson. Also, my wife became mother-in-law of her father-in-law.

"Then the daughter of my wife, my stepmother, had a son. This boy was my half-brother because he was my father's son, but he was also the son of my wife's daughter, which made him my wife's grandson. That made me the grandfather of my half-brother.

"This was nothing until my wife and I had a son. Now the half-sister of my son, my stepmother, is also the grandmother. This makes my father the brother-in-law of my child, whose stepsister is my father's wife. I'm my stepmother's brother-in-law, my wife is her own child's aunt, my son is my father's nephew and I'm my own grandfather! And you think you have family problems!"

Sorting out families, however, are usually the least of our problems. We want more from family life than simply knowing who's who.

One of the most common complaints I hear from families is that they are not close. They may be close in proximity, but still not feel close as a family. They may live next door or in the same house, but not feel close emotionally.

Closeness is not about latitude; it's about attitude. We feel close when we feel understood, when we feel loved and when we simply enjoy being together. We may live far apart and still feel close, or we may share a home yet feel distant.

Closeness is a family trait that grows over time. It is planted by love, watered by honest sharing and fed by true listening. It grows slowly and sometimes takes years to mature; but its roots grow deep. It can weather most any storm and sustain a family through the most difficult of times.

I received a letter from a reader in Hawaii. She pointed out that the CEO of one of the island's largest banks was considering a run for governor. Since he was well-liked, he seemed to have a good chance of winning.

But, before filing papers, he changed his mind, stating that he wanted to spend more time with his family. Not that elected officials cannot be family-oriented, but he felt he needed more time at home than the job allowed.

Ronald A. Young, in the Honolulu Advertiser, said this about the candidate's decision: "No matter what you accomplish in the business world or the social world, if you fail 'ohana' [family], then you have not accomplished much. Failure or success does not lie in the material wealth you provide them. It is measured by what of yourself you give to them."

He made a decision to give the best of himself to "ohana." He chose family closeness first, despite pressure to put more time elsewhere. It's likely a decision he'll never regret.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

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