The Blessings of Family
I have a wonderful memory of how blessed a family is and can be. Over the course of my life, I have had several families. If you think back, so have you.
My first family was when I was very young. My mother, father, sister, and I were very close. We disagreed a lot, but the love was there, always. When I went to college, my dorm mates and I were part of a loose family with the upper classman dorm advisor as the pseudo father. He helped us get along and showed us how to help each other studying.
I only went to full-time college for one year and entered the Marine Corps. This was my biggest family and remains a family to me today. At first it was just my company; but now, it is every person, male or female, who have been or are in the Corps. This has been a very important family for me, knowing that the esprit de corps always within me and my actions reflect on all these brothers and sisters I now have.
I have also had several families in the jobs that I have had. From operating my own business to teaching in high school and then college, each family has allowed me to grow both intellectually and spiritually. And, speaking of spiritual families, my church family is also an important part of my life. The spiritual growth and compassion that I feel whenever I am in church or have a meeting helps me grow closer to God every day. It is in this family that I have learned to meditate, which in its own right, has allowed me to grow in confidence and wiliness to help others who are less advantaged than I have been.
However, the most important family is the one that was formed when I married; my wife and children have been a source of strength and encouragement in everything that I do. The love of my wife, daughter, and son is the strongest support mechanism I have. The love, compassion, warmth, and closeness of this family unit supports all of us.
As with all families, there are disagreements and times of temporary anger and misunderstandings, but in the end, my family returns to the loving, compassionate place where it always seems to land.
God gives us the gift of family; it is a blessing freely given, a blessing filled with faith, hope, and love; each is planted deep within our natures. Faith, hope, and love are the bases of all families. Sometimes, we just do not recognize this. All families, including the ones I have given as examples, are filled with these three important gifts.
All people have families; not all understand this. We host a community dinner at our church every Monday evening. Elderly couples, lonely, single people, homeless people, and people who live in tents by choice all come to these dinners. The friendship and brotherhood they demonstrate are real examples of fraternal love and community; they look forward to these meals with love in their hearts. They are a true family of friends, enjoying the fruits of God’s kingdom on Earth. They are a joy to be with and I am proud to call them friends and family.
Family is a true blessing for all people. I have been successful in eliminating my ego, my unitary thinking and what I imagine other people are like by accepting all of the people I have met in my life to be a part of my extended family. Through this willingness to open my heart to all, I believe that everyone on Earth is in my family. Some may call this the family of man; I call this the family of God.
I love you all. There is nothing else that I can do when I picture all of you in my mind.