The wolf pack cannot survive without the Alpha and Omega and the lone wolf cannot survive without the pack. A town cannot survive without the townsfolk and a person cannot survive peacefully without the community that offers food, shelter, and water. We must find balance in ourselves in order to further better and maintain the balance with those around us.
In a world where we are raised to live for ourselves, only ourselves, and expected to travel to different parts of our countries, away from family and friends, to make money, we find ourselves paying a cost more than a one way ticket from new York to Los Angeles. Asking yourself “How Can I Make Money?” costs the close relationships we grew with our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, friends and loved ones. On live television, how many lives do you see distraught over money, escalating drama over a loan between mother and son so the son can make a living in a big city, only to find the only job they could get was at a local store? How many public trials were made between family members over a car so a family member may rebuild their lives?
Chasing the dollar to answer “How can I make money?” has us throw away many virtues that we learned through our faiths in an effort to continue praising the dollar. Not only have the religions of the world expressed the importance of our families and our communities to our lives, but sociologists and psychologists provide key insights as well. In the last post, We Are The Connection, we discussed how science may stem from the mind and our faith may stem from the heart – mind and heart must work as a team within you.
The questions were also posed: What is my current connection to all Life around me? How can I better my connection to all Life to my benefit and to their benefit together? These questions involve many different moving parts such as the humanity around us, the animals around us, and the plants around us. In The Balance Starts With You, understanding ourselves as individuals part of the whole is one of the key fundamentals in balancing ourselves. We are more than just one person, our contributions to the world and what we contribute as a whole to our Earth makes us more than who we are right now. The world always starts with our family.
Understand Your Current Family Relationships
Many spiritual leaders, founders, faiths and providers have spoken of the importance of family and being part of our communities for the greater whole. Sociologists and psychologists have also reference the important functions of family. With one end of the stick being faith and the other stick being science, both are correct that our connection to our family is just as important to you as an individual as it is important for the whole of your family. If you live in a parasitical symbiotic relationship with your family, or if you view as your family to be parasitic to you, the current connection with your family is a negative one that detriments not only your heart, but your mind as well. If you live in a commensial relationship, then you are closer to mutuality; however, you must understand why only one person is benefiting and the other is not. If you are living in a mutually symbiotic relationship with your family, then you are in a more positive relationship and can find ways to maintain and build upon it.
If you find yourself to be in a parasitical relationship with your family or vice versa, as we discussed in our relationship with the earth, then only one side benefits at the expense of another. One family member may be working three jobs while the other has no job and does no chores around the house or five family members work minimum paying jobs to maintain a house while one family member sits at home and plays video games all day. Economists may classify these people as those not actively seeking employment while the average every day person may call this person a freeloader or a bum.
In the household; however, there may be more to the story that makes the parasitical relationship more commensial or mutual. For example, the family worker working three jobs while one stays at home may have to because they are a spouse taking care of a sick spouse who was in a car accident and is in slow recovery. The family member playing video games may do so because the town they live in has high unemployment and high crime rates and the other family members took what they could get in their corner of the world. This video gamer might see the family is struggling and will do all chores around the house while the other family members work, knowing how tired they must be after struggling to answer “How can I make money?” while they themselves struggle to answer that question themselves. There are also times when a relationship is truly parasitical where a family member, John, asks their cousin, Mary, to stay at their house for three days while they switch apartments. These three days turns to three months and they have not paid rent, takes money from Mary, and does no chores around the house while enjoying marijuana morning, noon and night.
As you continue to ask yourselves questions from the previous post, We Are the Connection, to see where you personally stand in your connection to God/Higher Power, the Earth, and all life around you, next apply the questions to your family and see where you stand with those closest to you. Your family does not have to be family out of blood, your family may be those who view you as a member of the family.
What is my current connection to my Family (Mother, Father, Brother, Sister)?
How content am I with my current connections?
How can I better my connection to my Family (Mother, Father Brother, Sister)?
What is my role in my family and how does it benefit the family as a whole?
How can I make a difference for the better with my family?
There are many quotes and references in texts from the religions of the world, all faiths with unwritten virtues, and from modern day scientists. Even as money chases us away from family to service it like a God, too many families have been damaged by this love of money that we are seeing today. Too many families live in different cities for them to make just barely enough to survive in the new city. Too many families have been caught up in the dream of making money as a star, only to see the family member depleted in dreams as they work tirelessly as a waitress at a local restaurant. Too many immigrants found making money in America comes at a greater cost than just leaving their country of origin.
“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” Christianity and Judaism, Exodus 20:12
“And treat your parents with kindness. If one or both of them attain old age in your care, never say to them a word (suggesting) disgust, nor reproach them, but address them with reverent speech. And humble yourself out of mercy before them, and pray: ‘My Lord! Be merciful to them for having cared for me in my childhood.’” Islam, Quran 17:23-4
“[I]mmersed in family life, the Lord’s humble servant ever remains detached; he reflects upon the essence of spiritual wisdom.” Sikhism, Sri Guru Granth Sahib, pg. 559
“When watching after yourself, you watch after others. When watching after others, you watch after yourself.” Buddhism, Buddha
“Realize that we as human beings have been put on this earth for only a short time and that we must use this time to gain wisdom, knowledge, respect and understanding for all human beings, since we are all relatives.” Native American Cree Proverb
“Dine with a stranger but save your love for your family” Ethiopian Proverb
“The family is the basis of society. As the family is, so is the society, and it is human beings who make a family-not the quantity of them, but the quality of them.” Anthropologist Ashley Montegu.
There are many more quotes on the importance of family from ages past to even present day leaders; however, we are all still divided in this world no matter how large the population grows. No matter if you are purely a scientist or purely religious, family is the starting block of our individuality and the family is your starting block to be part of the whole world. No matter what faith you were raised in and no matter what philosophy you continued to live by, family is a building block to our balance with the Higher Power, Earth, the lives around us and ourselves.
More to Come on This.
Be well and be Safe & healthy.