Check Us Out on AllTop

Featured in Alltop

Thursday, February 28, 2013

What Is Family Legacy, a Successful One?

A successful family legacy is the process of utilizing the accomplished societal, passionate or expressive, and religious (sacred) attributes purposefully handed down to us by our parents (ancestors) to live currently in a manner above reproach. It also involves living an exemplary life that allows our dependents a similar or enhanced success for generations to come.

In all fairness to society, many people do not even acknowledge or realize the existence of such a term, much less understand its meaning or necessity. As a result, the definition of the word "family" has a varied meaning across ranges of ethnicity, generations (age), life-style, religious, political, and many other cultural distinctions. Yet its failure or deficiency, as well as our ignorance of the psychological victimization we are subject to is the most costly of any endeavor we undertake as a culture. As such, I believe a great place to begin what will be a series discussions designed to empower your family legacy is by defining family and the hindrances to its successful existence.

What is Family?

The actual definition of the word 'family' has not changed in centuries. It is even more commendable the definition of family in the American Dictionary of the English Language (written in the year 1828) with a heavy emphasis on Christian values:
a. The collective body of persons who live in one house and under one head or manager; a household, including parents, children and servants, and as the case may be, lodgers or boarders.
b. Those who descend from one common progenitor; a tribe or race; kindred; lineage. Thus the Israelites were a branch of the family of Abraham; and the descendants of Reuben, of Manasseh, were called their families. The whole human race are the family of Adam, the human family.

However, which communication medium has done the most to define the word family over the last few generations and decades? In my humble opinion, nothing has done more for the changed definition of family on the culture and society than the television. We are a visually stimulated people, and it is no doubt that the eyes are the gateway to the heart, through our emotions. Walk with me on a short journey of the power of television just through my brief lifetime.

Gradual Change in Defining Family
When it comes to the definition of family by television beginning in the '60s, there were family programs like The Andy Griffith Show, or Family Affair. Although I do not claim any of my references were perfect castings of family, Family Affair for example embraced the context of healthy family, even by its title. It portrayed the embrace of necessary responsibility selflessly by a fun loving bachelor for the benefit of children (nieces and nephew). Forward on to the '70s and you have urban pleasures and delights such as Good Times, a true testament of family and community despite incredible adversity where familial love always wins out. Even the family television programs which were birthed from the negativity of the culture such as The Brady Bunch managed to remarkably portray traits that edified the family structure. Furthermore, it encouraged those struggling through blended family situations to take courage and stay the course. The show's creator Sherwood Schwartz came up with the idea when he heard some 20% - 30% of all families had at least one child from a previous marriage.

I should note however that these family friendly sitcoms did a tremendous job (not perfect) of not portraying or endorsing affairs, jealousy, in-fighting and other destructive familial behaviors although they existed in the culture without a doubt. It would seem those important cultural and challenging family adversities were significant enough to allow specific professionals to tackle them for the health rather than destruction of society.

In the late '70s and '80s came a string of family dramas like Dallas, Dynasty, Falcon Crests, Knots Landing, and others which began to display and entice our visual stimulative souls with the lures of affairs, in-fighting, misuse of wealth and power at all cost, and more. That era of family television practically endorsed it is okay to outmaneuver and swindle others vindictively without remorse. And guess what, we bought-in greatly as a culture. Although sitcoms like The Cosby Show fought hard to maintain the homogeneous and effective family definition from generations prior, shows like Three's A Crowd began to project a dad who refuses to allow his daughter's cohabitation with a young man as outrageous. Take into consideration also the new influx of the liberal and right-wing debate on other shows like Family Ties.

The '90s and 2000s, riding on the wave of cultural breakdown we have previously described, brought a "rush for a free pass at the box office" by introducing what we today term as the MTV culture. It is a rush for accepting public display of ridiculous and unimaginably bad family behavior. This was surely evident by the many late night adult programming (HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, etc) allowed on public airwaves. In addition, a string of talk shows like The Jerry Springer Show, Maury, Montel Williams, casting individuals with no recognition or desire to privately address destructive personal family matters arose for the sake of prime time ratings. We, as a culture, were by this point addicted to the modeling of bad family behavior on public television. Add to that a string of animated (Family Guy, The Simpsons, and more) and live-body sitcoms which took on a design to regularly portray men and fathers as unproductive idiots who do not know how to manage their spousal relationships much less their responsibilities as head of home and family. These men (boys in extended adolescence) would prefer to entertain everything else that selfishly entices them. By the way, I have not yet touched the tip of this iceberg and have only been speaking about the power of television as a source of the culture's current definition of family. Much more can be said about other mediums such as the gaming industry (online, gambling, video, professional sports, etc) and more.

Victimized by Psychology
Now television chooses to portray cultural hits like Modern Family (note the title) as an absolute redefinition of family. At its inception we find endorsements from established community media outlets like The Michigan Daily stating "Modern Family is a dysfunctional domestic sitcom done right". Folks, last I checked there is nothing right about dysfunction; deviating from the norms of social behavior in a way regarded as bad. Examples of dysfunction portrayed as right is when a sitcom like Modern Family chooses to portray (jamming; a deviant psychological tactic) the union of a homosexual couple, and their adoption of a young child as the circle of life, while deliberately singling out (see video here) the one person who opposes. Due to his (opposition's) visually awkward moment (all but him gathered around baby and couple) he succumbs to the pressure and accepts their dysfunctional behavior. Without realizing it, that leaves you and I with an affinity to accept that bad behavior (visual and psychological stimulation) as a new definition for our concept of family.

The reality is that a homosexual family will never advance the circle of life no matter how beautifully artistic it is portrayed on Modern Family and other such television programs. They will only propagate an embrace of death to us as a people, culture, and mankind. Why do I say that? Heterosexuality is designed by The Creator for the propagation of life through child birth. It does not matter how many children homosexuals adopt for humanitarian appearance and cultural acceptance or equality with heterosexual couples, when it comes to promoting family legacy and a legacy of life, their own design and choices defeat their agenda. The propagation of the homosexual lifestyle through their adopted children eventually leads to the extinction of their lineage. The union of homosexuals can never naturally produce life as such it is unquestionably dysfunctional and bad social behavior; not good for the family life they want to claim. Homosexuality becomes nothing but a personal selfish choice of individuals rather than the twisted humanity Modern Family and others try so hard to portray. In short, be aware and stop allowing yourself to be 'jammed'.

Surely, the long established definition of family has never changed. However, the imposition of our flawed desires for sinful and destructive behaviors, which tear at the foundations of a healthy and life giving family structure has changed. Therefore we are paying the costly price.

Beginning today and for the next several weeks and months to come we will be tackling the question, "What is family legacy?" The goal ultimately is to define and provide for you relevant and specific strategies. Topics like significance, purpose, functionality, difficulties, failures, successes, implementation, propagation, and more will be discussed concerning successful family legacy.

As we begin these series of discussions on family legacy via this blog and more, I would love to hear your comments on a few questions (5) regarding what we have discussed today. Here they are and feel free to choose any or all to respond to:
  1. What makes the current culture destructive and complex for the family?
  2. What factors are contributing to the complexities of raising a family in today's environment?
  3. Which aspects of the culture represent your greatest challenges to leaving a healthy family legacy?
  4. How have these factors affected your ability to succeed at the task?
  5. What do we need to manage theses challenges?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Does the Family Hear Media Speak?

Since the family is the most significant foundation and component of the culture, it is on the backs of families we must build a great nation and nothing else. Therefore, strong families will guarantee the prolonged and sustainable strength of America and rest of our world. Such has been the case for several centuries since the creation of this great nation. Godly influenced and strong families in search of freedom to worship, education, economic development, social interaction, political persuasion, and more agreed it was necessary to take risks of various kinds to form a new and great nation.

In the same breath and the description of the nobility of such great families who built the American dream, the tragic impetus for change under the weight and pressure of weak families is remarkably devastating. The quality and the value of life is sacrilegiously diminished. Even more amazing is the reality common sense solutions to problems become gravely complicated because a people have become complacent and notoriously lazy. Important issues of morality and objective truth in the decision making of the people soon become relegated to societal failures in the name of "progressive thinking". We refuse to call our flaws what they really are, and refuse to simply protect human life, our greatest earthly possession for fear of offending someone who is already figuratively dead, and soon to be physically dead anyway. In short, only the dead have no capability of protecting life or the living; they can't. When we refuse to protect human life in any form we are dead in every manner imaginable since it is fundamentally how we protect our existence.

With our media rich world, and subsequently the speed with which news travels, we have reached new levels  of this rampaging epidemic of death in society, especially one of massive moral and psychological proportions. As a people, we are quick to unquestionably believe our giant media syndicates and dumb down our senses which scream at us to do a litmus test of the message we are receiving. That complacency and laziness, a natural nature within us as weak members of weak families will rapidly assert itself and rule the day. That leaves us with no alternative but to succumb to media feeds as an electric cord does to the electricity being fed through an outlet, "a powerless conduit". Sadly what this depicts is this, as adults especially we are simply being used by the media in many cases to infect the next generation, our children.

So, does the family hear media speak? Sure, here's proof Media Coverage of Gun Violence. Look for a few thoughts I shared in this piece also.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What Is A Gang? Generally Children of Inhabiting Families

What is a gang or what are gangs? Gangs are generally made up of children and young adults of the general vicinity in which they operate. Yes a gang may seemingly move into an area and establish dominance. However, in order to flourish it must recruit young members from the families of that neighborhood and locale. Although on a somewhat grander scale, the same exist for a lawless indiscriminate rebel force (African civil war) whose operational vicinity I have lived within and felt the daily pressures of conscription and threats to my life as a teenage boy. What are gangs or rebel forces using to attract the youth of our communities? The missing promises in their young lives of:

  • Excitement and attention
  • Friendship, family, and belonging
  • Protection
  • Material success
  • Popularity and notoriety (recognizable brand)
  • Family Tradition
  • Familial love
Sadly, the gangs' manner of exhibiting all of these wonderful attributes are laced with immeasurably addicting and destructive behaviors or results.

I was asked by a news reporter recently, the family expert that I am, to give my opinion on stopping gang activity and violence in a particular neighborhood. However, since my response was not one of the immediate and temporary fixes which never work but are frequently being applied across this nation, he seemed to be unable to connect with a long term but effective solution. Well let me emphasize it once more, "Quick fixes to gang infested communities will never work." More importantly, rather than exclude the inhabiting families while city councils come up with midnight basketball leagues, handball, and other attracting activities for gang involved youth, the family and elder connections to gang members must be included.

What is the solution?
In the case of civil war locations like Rwanda and Liberia, or the apartheid unrest in South Africa among others, a "truth and reconciliation" council is established. The purpose is to find the truth and give the victims and perpetrators a chance to say and reveal all that is inside them. The strategic key is that ownership of the situation is put back on the community and ultimately families to express, discuss, and reconcile their deep-rooted differences and concerns. But more importantly, they receive the gift of an amazing opportunity and second chance to solve a problem that they once failed miserably at addressing. Observe, the lasting solutions in these communities have not just involved mental reconditioning of perpetrators but have instead fully involved the families which make up the communities.

The same is the answer for gang violence in our communities. It must begin with the family, typically the families of the gang members we desire to reach so desperately. As such, resources have to be introduced that allow or motivate the families and community to choose to be greater involved in the solution. I am not speaking of handouts (welfare checks, etc). In many instances involving these communities there are long lasting and deep rooted family involvement and affiliations to the gang problem also. Yet we continue to be blind and ignore the fact that, like the rest of us the "so called" fortunate, these families are seeking a better life rather than "happily" see their children killed.

As an author and speaker on the subject of family, I work with families by offering/providing "multi-generational family legacy" seminars (uncommon language in US) that are intense and purposefully introduce long term family thinking. These seminars provide motivation, strategies, reasons, and more where families like these develop purpose for becoming a part of the solution, as well as finding the better lives they seek ultimately. We need to start the conversation with the parents and families of the community, as well as bring those gang members (leaders especially) who are willing to listen. Soon we will begin to cultivate a long term impact and solution for the community. GIVE THEM THE SOLUTIONS THEY SEEK, RATHER THAN FAILED POLICIES WE CHOOSE TO GIVE!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Gender Neutrality, Political Correctness Fog!

Politicians like those in Olympia, WA (WA gender neutral language) are so concern about acknowledging our differences in society as male and female that they have prioritize time to enforce gender-neutral language changes in the written laws of the state. Sadly, if I didn't live in this era and culture to see with my own eyes the daily dramatization of what I just wrote in my earlier sentence, but instead was reading the writings from several centuries past, I would be rolling in laughter at this kind of logic and approach. But in reality it is no laughing matter is it?

A fellow named Jonathan Katz once wrote, "Political correctness is the narrowing of the range of acceptable opinions to those held by a small group that enforces it. It is an attempt, often successful, to coerce the majority to accept the opinions of the enforcing group by suppressing any contrary opinion and making independent thought unacceptable. The enforcing group may be afraid of the the consequences of open discussion, or of making the facts known. It generally has a practical motivation: it wants something of value (money, jobs, special privileges) to which it has a weak claim. So it attempts to enforce its claim by ruling any disagreement from it outside the bounds of acceptable discourse. This is unnecessary when the claim is self-evidently strong, but may be the only means of getting the claim accepted when it is weak."

The truth is, I have had male and female bosses or superiors in the business and professional environment through out my life time. As an employee, I had no problem discerning or acknowledging that the chain of command, hierarchy, and structure which existed rose to that male or female. I do not need gender neutrality to emphasize that. A similar and more valuable arrangement exist in my home and marriage, and I acknowledge our differences and roles. Do you have a problem with discerning male and female differences that requires gender neutral clarity?

The trend has also become a state-by-state political correctness phenomenon it appears. Several states' law-makers have taken a liking to this preferred way of spending taxpayer dollars then focusing on measures to restore healthy family structure, and eliminate perpetuating cycles of generational abuse. It is amazing how as a society we continue to seek to fix the system rather than the people, yet we the people unnecessarily continue to suffer and die at our own hands. We must quit running away from our responsibilities owed to ourselves and descendants by making appeasing decisions to save and further our careers, and make the hard choices that are frequently and erroneously labeled "unloving". The gender neutrality discussion is another wasteful systemic discussion while real people hurt (litany of abuses), are murdered (school shootings, etc.), and more. The question of whether there was a fireman as oppose to firefighter, or policeman as oppose to police officer present, has no bearing on the lives that were likely just lost or derailed forever. However, the lack of balance and presence of a mother and father, or family advocating mentor/influence in the disturbed perpetrator's life 99% of the time means all the difference in the outcome of the situation.

Boundaries and other various tangible or abstract lines of distinction, as well as the existence of our natural and obvious differences as male and female are healthy and purposeful. I have a healthy respect for the differences (not wrong, or less significant) which exist between my wife and I. As a matter of fact, while we have acknowledge the strategic importance of our roles (leadership, submission, hierarchy, occupational abilities, physical talents, etc), we just as quickly embrace our equality to the tone of a healthy, loving, and fulfilling relationship and marriage. That fundamental equality which we honor and embrace exists in the essence of who we are, not our roles. So if this is what the fuss of gender neutrality under the fog of political correctness is all about (seeking equality), please lets talk and let me also introduce you to a few friends of mine who are just as fulfilled and are prepare to spread this healthy epidemic. And mind you that in achieving bliss, structure and healthy discipline despite our wants and damaging cultural persuasions must reign supreme. Truth is absolute not optional, especially if the facts are proven by the stats of life.