Happy New Year!! I am back from an amazing voyage to Indochina with my friend of oldest duration. She is nine months older than I am and has been "there" since I was born. She is the back to my front and visa versa. We discovered along the four week journey that indeed, one can go home again. Even half- way around the world. It is such a comfort to share a history with someone who was there, knows the parties, and forgives the teller. A lot like the family dynamics we witnessed on our recent journey together.
In Vietnam and Cambodia, we learned that the extended family is alive and well. Children honor adults and ancestors as their first order of fidelity and piety and expect that their children will do the same, going forward by example. The elders are revered and cared for in multiple family dwellings where infants bunk with parents until the age of two and then just move to grandparents' beds, ( probably to help their parents make more babies ). The toddlers learn to care for and understand the needs of their aging family members while enjoying all the care and loving concern that is unique to a grandparent's style of "parenting". Children are not a bother, but a joy. They are the soft little bodies that serve as bed- warmers overnight as they reap the benefits of family lore and security.
It doesn't hurt that grandmas cook and clean and babysit and nurture while moms are busy contributing too. And when postpartum is upon us, she's there to supply special nutrition and loving counsel and support also. Women helping women. To learn the dynamics of family life where the agenda is one of continued positive good wishes and loving concern is to learn first-hand how to relate to the world. We do become our brother's keeper and we do have to treat others as we expect to be treated ourselves. This is the way of all of the world's best philosophies for living, no matter where we grow up or who raises us.
To be in family in 2011 means to be in the whole wide beautiful world. It has become a very small place and we must live and work together, necessitating a spirit of cooperation that includes caring and sharing and keeping each other warm and safe. We must respect our differences and learn from our respective lifestyles. We must be open to the ideas and contributions of others in order to enhance our experience of life.
We must teach our children well. That we ARE the world and we are they only ones who can save it. We have a lot to learn from each other and a lot to pass on to the next generation. Hopefully, tolerance is first, starting now. No better way to understand that we are all brothers, than to get out there and be in the world. Start just a neighborhood or township over and expand onto the globe . It is our saving grace.
Happy New Year to all my clients and their families and to all the new parents- to- be that I will meet in 2011. It is a pleasure for me to help usher you into this awesome time of birth and rediscovery: of who you are capable of being and what you can effectively generate for your families and the family of man. I have high hopes for what you can accomplish; you are among the finest folks I have had the pleasure to know and that's all around the globe. Be well and safe and I sincerely expect to help you achieve the realistic fulfillment of your first parenting goals.