Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Family the source of true happiness

Let's enhance our family unit for enduring happiness

Throughout the history of man, he has been in the pursuit of happiness which is an abstract feeling showing or causing pleasure or satisfaction. He resorts to all sorts of means to achieve that happiness. Very often he does not know what real happiness is but is in search of it high and low. If we reflect on what true happiness is we may realize that the source of that happiness is the family unit. It is this unit of love that binds its members together into a family.

It is this unit of love that gave us the happiness during the innocent days of our childhood. Unfortunately as we grew older, for one reason or another we break this unit and those results in the many troubles and sufferings in our lives that led to great sorrow and regret. History has shown and my personal experience confirms that the disruption of the family unit for whatever reason will only result in misery in the long run. It is almost impossible for a person with a disintegrated family to attain happiness as a sound and intact family is the underlying cause of enduring happiness.

The breakup of the family unit is also the main cause of the many social ills we face today. These include the breakdown of our value system, declining morality, high crime, corruption, drug addiction, abandoning of parents and children and loss of respect for laws and social norms.

Divorce was and continues to be the most important cause of the disintegration of the family unit in most cultures. In the West this has taken a heavy toll on families whereas as in the East where we are more conservative it is fast becoming a problem as well. If we do not act to stop this trend I am afraid our future generations will never find the true happiness, which we all strive for in our lives.
The family unit consists basically of the parents and their children and often the grandparents and grandchildren as well. The close interactions between the parents and children lead to the establishment of this family unit, which is the basic unit of human society.

A number of factors need to be considered for the success of the family unit. These include:

Up-bringing of the children. The attitude of the parents towards their children is an important factor that determines the subsequent cohesiveness of the family unit. The creation of an environment of love, affection and sacrifice by the parents is of utmost importance in determining the future attitude of the children towards them.

In their pursuit of material wealth, parents tend to forget that their greatest wealth is their children. In fact it the biggest investment and the more love and affection they put into the care of their children the greater their returns in the years after. Love is like a thin but strong thread that binds the children to the parents and it is the only weapon that the parents have to restrain them from going astray as they grow older and become independent.

It is the parents love, not money or wealth that earns them the respect of their children. It is the little things that parents do for their children with great passion that really matters not the big things done with little effort and passion. As adults now, most of us still remember and cherish the small things our parents did with great sacrifice not the big things which was easily available to them.
It is absolutely important for parents to show good example to the children.

Infidelity and regular fighting over petty issues are important cause of family disruption. They must instead lead a life of good morals and values. How can the children be expected to become good humans when they are not shown the way to it? Every child is innocent and whether they turn out to be good or bad is largely dependent on the parents.


The attitude of the children
. The parents were the undisputed head of the family when the children were young and ideally they should continue to do so as long as they are alive. The children must give them the due respect for their age and experience. All major decisions must be taken with their blessing. Children must place full trust in their parents especially when confronted with problems and dilemmas. History as shown that a man/woman who does not respect his parent’s wishes has never found lasting happiness in his own life.

With respect comes obedience. The members of the family may disagree and are free to discuss their views but they must give serious consideration to the views of the elders regarding controversial decisions and not brush aside their views as irrelevant and obsolete. The elders may be an exhausted physical force but their experience is invaluable and their presence a source of inspiration and consolation.

Choice of life partners is an important cause of family rift and must be handled with care and logic. Children must be free to choose their life partners but their choice must be legal, logical and must please the parents. Marriage is the most important event in one’s life and it would be a great tragedy to indulge in it without the blessings of the parents who were responsible to what they are today.

Upholding the truth. All members must be truthful to one another and must always uphold the truth even if that hurts. There should be no excuse to lie or hide the truth for whatever reason as that will only lead to more serious problems. They must have the courage to admit any wrongdoing and take measures not to repeat them. Making mistakes is human but what is important is to realize the mistake and get out of it immediately.

Forgiveness is a virtue worth adopting. Members of the family must forgive each other even if one of them causes hurt in one way or another. To err is human, forgive is divine. If we cannot forgive our own brother, sister, children or parents how can we forgive others?

Besides these the members of the family must act and behave in a respectable manner so as not to bring shame and disrespect to the family.

In short the all members, father, mother and children, must make a concerted effort to secure the integrity of their family unit, which must be maintained at all costs and all times. In times of crisis it may be useful to regroup, recollect and relive the happy days of the past when as children, they interacted freely with one another and their parents.

Remember the family unit has been the source of true happiness for man throughout the ages. Disruption of the family unit for whatever reason will only result in unhappiness and misery. These guidelines may be ideal but ideals are what we must all strive for even if we do not achieve them to the fullest.

Dr.Chris Anthony

1 comment:

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