Topic: personal essay
People do not have to be related by blood to be part of a family. You don’t even have to be human. But what does is a family? The defining words are love and trust. There has to be an underlying current of unconditional love. Each member of a family will have their individual problems, but within the unit these should be mutually accepted. This also brings up one other important requirement, listening.
A very important distinction must be made here. Listening and hearing are NOT the same. When a person ‘hears’ something, the sound enters the ear long enough to register as sound, but the meaning does not register. When a person ‘listens’, a sound enters the ear and is allowed to enter the cognitive function part of the brain. I used to hear, now I listen. Are you a listener, or a hearer?
Trust is critical. You must be trustworthy to be trusted. Families do not keep secrets from each other. How does one earn that coveted trustworthy status? One has to be upfront and honest. Things break down quickly at the first hint of deception. Regaining the trust of others is an arduous task. If a person says they are going to do something, make sure it gets done.
Then we have the two magic words, love and like. To love someone means you care. You won’t always agree but must care enough to try and understand your family’s point of view. To love is to help the other members. For the one you fall in love with, caring is so much more important. Being with them in good times is easy. When times are hard, when emotional issues or sickness arrives, that is when you must stand by the person you are in love with. Emotional issues, especially depression, are the most difficult to deal with. It is also at this time when a person must stand by their loved one the closest. So, when these issues arise, do you show the person you are in love with more care and consideration? Or the door?