Friday, January 25, 2008

Family Ties

Remember that show?

As a youngster, I always thought the show was interesting because of all the different personalities under one roof. You know, Michael J. Fox as the Reagan loving conservative, his parents the converted hippies, the wild older sister and the funny youngster.

I liked different aspects of each characters personality. But, the show almost always rang false with me.

At the time it seemed impossible to my young mind that you could be a family and have everybody see things that differently.

I mean, when I looked at my family, it seemed like we all saw the world pretty much the same, even if I vehemently argued with my parents when they wouldn't let me go down the street to play or get my ears pierced.

Looking back, it's clear exactly how much I viewed the world through a child's eyes.

See, my family (nuclear and extended) couldn't be composed of more disparate people. I look at my family now, splintered and uncomfortable around each other, and I wonder how we stayed together and stayed close for so long.

What binds families? It can't just be love, it can't just be actions.

What makes you hang out with and even love individuals who you feel disrespect you at every turn? How can you truly enjoy the company of a person you despise on a certain level?

How about when you just don't know what to talk about with your family? Or you wonder if they truly care about what's best for you?

I talk to people and I see so many fault lines is so many families. Jealousy, bias, callousness, dishonesty.

Tradition binds some families, fear binds others. The best families are bound by love, shared goals and mutual care.

What binds my family?

What binds yours?

I love my family, each individual member of it. The ones who I wouldn't trust to shave my neck still have a special place in my heart.

But, I wonder, what makes you love your family when they do wrong? How do you move past mistreatment? How do you reconcile when so much has gone wrong?

I'm trying prayer and personal evaluation. I hope it works.


Chaser said...

Interesting post dude. I wonder about this too. Brother and I have a love-hate relationship with sister. We know that if we weren't related, we wouldn't be friends, might even be enemies. We're just so very different. I'm not sure what binds us. Maybe it's the 'rents. They want nothing more than for us all to be close. Sometimes momz will lie and give us compliments from each other that we know good and well really came from her. "Your sis is just so proud of you. She really admires you." ... Uh huh, sure.. She just wants to keep us connected. I guess knowing that we have to be cool, civil for our folks forces us to ignore some stuff, tolerate others, until the day we all finally explode over Christmas dinner, I guess.

Big Man said...

Thanks for the comment

T.A.N Man said...

This is a very interesting post. It is very difficult to move past mistreatment by family, because it is usually so unexpected. I think it may be possible that in some families, the beautiful differences that we all see are criticized and persecuted. Family Ties, and most other family TV shows try to capture the importance of acceptance and consideration within a family, as they always put incredibly different siblings under one roof. It is interest that you would pick up on that theme, because I have recently been trying to understand the same idea in my life. I think that each member of a family is dependent on the other family members for support, and when a member feels as if he can't get that support, or he can't trust his family with his feelings, he turns. For me, consideration if the key -- giving it and getting it.

Raving Black Lunatic