Thursday, August 21, 2008


Most people most of the time are not happy, that however doesn’t mean most are depressed. It does means that there is a lot of living between happiness and depression.

When we start a day we are hopeful, maybe optimistic but also a bit concerned. So each family member starts the day somewhere between happiness and depression. Family happiness depends upon how each individual is feeling. That would seem to lower the odds for family happiness today.

All this is good or bad depending on how much importance we place on happiness. There is a good chance that happiness has been oversold as a life goal - which means there’s something greater. There is. There is satisfaction, joy, love, accomplishment, positive attitude, health, optimism and so on.

So what happened to happiness? It didn’t disappear; it just found its place. That place is as a by-product of the many good things in life. It is the icing on the cake which comes from baking a good cake in the first place.

When we want our family happy, all this means is that it can’t be bought in a bottle or a tube or a magic formula. Happiness is a gift that comes, not a goal that can be achieved.

Is our family happy? There is a good chance if the family:

  • Shares together
  • Works together
  • Plays together
  • Helps others together
  • Prays together Grows together

Happiness is like most family benefits - is a gift which comes and goes like magic - always surprising and always wonderful.

Friday, August 01, 2008


We and our families are pretty confused about learning and education. We assume that children learn in school. But there, they can learn as many wrong things as right things. Some children who are academically gifted learn well in school and go on to higher education regardless. That is not the case for most of us.

Two big things we too easily forget. First, most important childhood learning occurs at home - good and bad. So, parents can’t assume that their children can get educated in the school systems. Second, we forget that most learning happens through experience. We forget that most of the lesson material from school is forgotten as soon as we get out the door.

It is a wonder that work has lost its appeal for learning. There, we learn from our successes and mistakes. Work gives lots of opportunity for learning under good supervision. Schools can never replicate these learning opportunities.

Besides, the school systems have developed their own serious mistakes. Bigness has required standardized learning when learning can only be individual and then social. Bigness has created educator clubs that demand high pay, security and all the fringe benefits.

Worst of all, our high paid educators have turned control of their classes over to the kids. Parents threaten lawsuits to get their way with schools. Kids use that trick. Using threats of fights or litigation, the kids have taken control of schools so that we end up with some weird juvenile culture.

It is sad that families have allowed teen rebellion to take on astronomic proportions. It is true that teens need space to try their wings. Like birds however, they still need the strong nest nearby. Parents, like teachers, have given in to the teen tantrums and in the process have lost control. No wonder schools are now drug riddled and open for gun warfare.

If learning and education have got this bad, the correction can only come from the families. Nobody else has the power or the guts to turn our loose, juvenile culture into a work oriented learning process.

Let’s hear your thoughts on this FAMILY CHALLENGE.