(The importance of family)


The importance of the family unit and the extended family unit, to care nurture and develop a future is of great importance and the heart of society. Even the materialistic world of today must differentiate between its short-term and long-term benefits and appreciate the importance on positive+social conditions to promote positive+spending. The millions of lives aborted will no doubt have a negative implication on business as the demographic factors play out.

I am thankful that I had the opportunity to visit Calabria Italy, a region I call "the soul" of Italy. If you get an opportunity to visit Serra San Bruno, you will find a beautiful monastery which Saint Bruno set up. I was fortunate to visit my mothers home town Simbario, where in 1974, the old traditions and values still remained. I noted that most people took special interest in every child that walked the streets. In North America we say that it takes a community to raise a child (we forget that it takes a father and mother to give a child a proper identity). But in old Italy, the the city was a village, and people, especially in small communities were concerned about everyone. In these communities, it was important because people were among family. They realized that the children of today and tomorrow might someday marry into their families. I am certain as children they were told stories of past people, of their successes and failures. It was and hopefully will be important to ensure that all members of the community were well adjusted and good; time moves on and we do not know how the world and the children of today will affect us tomorrow.

A family, is a shared co-operative, which is based on sacrifice, mutual respect, and trust. Successful partnerships, exist in co-operation and not competition; this is perhaps the area that we must stress. Partnerships, are more productive when members with "different" talents and skills work together. Family is about children and grandchildren, not merely men and women, not merely husbands and wives, but children; the men and women, the fathers and mothers of tomorrow.

To those who would be critical of "family" let them stand up and expose their own successful experience to educate us with. Tragically we listen to "theorists" with very little experience . . . . I say this because the best teachers of family, are too busy building and developing their families to teach or write books . . . it is hoped this will change . . . To argue that "family' is dysfunctional plays with the truth that family is not perfect, for a variety of reasons. We should not allow this UNREALISTIC "perfect" expectation to destroy the family. The only concept that is "perfect" is "nothing," and some individuals appear to pursue that agenda, albeit deceptively.

To stress the point, in University, our case study analysis of Successful Business People showed that few had little more than a grade two level education. The reason may be based on the fact that "theory" is usually static, or based on theory application, which is too confining. Reality is complex and ever changing. Theorists should be careful to appreciate the limited applications of their theories. Teachers of success should be respected on the basis of "long term success" and not merely unproved theories. Not to suggest that theory is unimportant is is definitely a foundation, that we should ensure does not become "the roof." As this relates to family, the "experts" in family should be those who have "successfully" raised children and grandchildren; THESE SHOULD BE OUR TEACHERS.

It was pointed out to me that Italian Mothers, do not say "I love you" to their children, but they say it is a more concrete way, by saying "" The role of fathers, and especially mothers to sacrifice their efforts FOR THEIR CHILDREN is ignored by much of today's SELFISH cash-culture. As my mother lay sick in her bed suffering from a stroke and blind, I will never forget the comments my Mother made to a visitor, a Mr. Luceno. When mother was told of the visitor her comment made in the depths of illness was . . . "Did he eat yet ?"

Perhaps our society pays too much attention to words, their spelling, and their grammar and so little on their actual meaning and so little to the concrete actions of people towards other people.

The strength of "motherly love" was well shown to me in the town of Mongiana, in the Pine hills of southern Italy. At the time, Don Scopacasa, as he was called, was the town priest. I was their on holidays in 1987 and was waiting to set up a stage for the annual "Festa del Immigrante." It was a hot, cloudless day, the air was dry and windless. It was mid afternoon, and their was no sound, it was that hot. In this setting from one of the streets, appeared a woman, an elderly frail smalll, women in her late 80's, her head covered by a black veil, walking slowing, pulling on a rope. Behind her was a cart, a low, homemade cart, with wheels that dragged rather than rolled. She dragged this cart, down the road and we watched from across the narrow street that was in front of this little Church in a town square in the little village of Mongiana.

The woman, dressed in black pulled that cart to a water fountain. Upon this cart lay a body. The fountain trickled some water, and upon arriving at the fountain this body, the womans child, managed to drag himself off this cart. The child was that of a full grown man, his body twisted by a birth disease and without muscle control, he was covered in tattered cloths. But he managed to drag himself off this cart. His body reminded me of another picture, the body of Christ taken off that cross. The rest I don't remember because I dared not look. This son brought himself closer to the fountain for a drink, and then crawled his way back on this cart.. "We have tried to find a place for him in a hospital, but the mother wants to look after him." replied Don Scopacasa.

And on that quiet afternoon, in the soul of Italy, in a town square in Mongiana, amidst the heat, and the quiet, this little elderly mother disappeared in the hot sun, dragging this cart, with her son, back home. A picture of unselfish Love.

We have so much to learn !

(Confirmation was received by Oxford University Press, February 22, 1994, that suggested sub-classifications into feminism would be used when the entry would be revised. P.M.Gilliver Associate Editor-Oxford English Dictionary. . . . . )