Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Our families have a tough time with this question because our society is confused and hung up about rights and freedoms. This huge confusion comes from several sources:

- Governments love to give rights to gain votes. Most of what they give we already have

- Lawyers make themselves rich bending laws in the name of personal rights

- Misguided religious, businesses and lobby groups try to sell freedom as the ultimate good

The only freedom that families need worry about is that inner freedom that doesn’t come from laws, lawyers or do-gooders. The great religions and the great disciplines know that inner freedom is the only one that counts.

So what are the big lessons families need:

1. We are born free to make our big choices

2. Freedom to be ourselves is found first in the family

3. There are no society’s “freedoms” that are safe

4. Inner freedom is a matter of spiritual choice

The juvenile cry of our day is “It’s not fair”. Translated this means “I want my own way.” Too many are living in self imposed misery believing their way is the right way.

The wise family response is: “Your way doesn’t come before the family way.” We each need a check on our primitive impulses. That lesson is one of the best gifts parents can give to their children.

Give us your thoughts on this latest FAMILY CHALLENGE by clicking on the comment button found below.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Car salesmen tell us they care. So do our governments, businesses and advertisers. Caring is fashionable and fuzzy.

Gut caring is another matter. It is hard and it is tough. It means we take the focus off ourselves and put it on someone else. It means we take the trouble to understand someone else so that we find a way to show we care - in their perspective and in their world.

No wonder someone invented the phrase “Tough Love”.

Caring is primarily family business. Caring starts when parents have a new infant whose first need is caring. We know the power of caring when we see the terrible disorders in children who have missed it. Caring is the first requirement for parenthood and the foundation of the family.

Caring is so tough that most of us find alternatives to the real stuff. We try busyness, bossiness, noisiness, nosiness, possessiveness and so on. We create these neurotic patterns to avoid the demands of caring - patience, openness, humility and risk.

The family is our best place to let folks help us with our favorite neurotic pattern. It is also the safest place to be vulnerable. In most other places, we put on the “right” face to fit in. These places are usually deficient in caring for reasons of safety. Churches, businesses, schools, clubs and hangouts, each have their own culture. Caring is usually too powerful for these cultures to handle.

Today’s challenge is that these outside cultures have great influence as the family struggles to keep itself together. It is going to take brave new efforts by families to nurture and protect the one ingredient in life that we all need but which seems to be in such short supply.

What’s your view on this FAMILY CHALLENGE, tell us by clicking on the “comment” button found below.