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The good side of family

All relationships start with respect and all things beautiful develop with nurturing. This is what means to be a happy family

The good side of family

The unconditional love of our family is the most beautiful thing. We can be ourselves among them for they accept us the way we are. We can voice our thoughts; likes, dislikes, ideas and expect to be heard, not judged. When with family, we drop our guard. We count on them to be by our side and they are there when we need them.

Family is very important for my well-being. I feel if the world falls apart, my husband will be there with me, my children and siblings will also be there by my side and it will be always like that. My mother’s unconditional love is such that every time I reflect on it I find it larger than life. Probably, we all feel the same. We have this great need to be understood but only those we love ever really know us.

Companionship and family take a lot of worries off our minds. When my children are home, I fall asleep easily than when they are away.

We spend our initial years with our parents, siblings, our parents’ siblings and grandparents. Then enters the spouse who too has a family — the family size doubles. Then come children. At this point we take the driver’s seat. This is when most people take charge of their lives. Like our parents we work towards creating a safe environment for our children and a better future. We try to give our children what we know and understand but we very much want our children to realise their potential.

Husband’s parents and sometimes our own parents move in with us or we move in with them. This is common in our culture. The child with whom the parents live is considered blessed. We don’t leave our parents alone in old age; we live together.

When we extend ourselves to the extended family, we widen our family. Our children reap the benefits of the love we spread. They have more homes they are welcome to and a lot of people who love them. The key to a happy family life is in letting people be and extending our services when the need arises. We should treasure our family without seeking to own and control them.

There is joy in giving because it makes someone happy. There is a more evolved kind who finds greater joy in letting people express themselves. When they have resources, they keep bringing family together. But it’s not just a matter of resources, such people put in huge effort and time also. This is investing in the family that does everyone good. Even one such person in a family is a blessing.

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All relationships start with respect and all things beautiful develop with nurturing. Appreciation goes a long way in realising our potential. The trust and faith our parents, spouse and siblings repose in us have a huge impact on us. Confidence in our abilities has a lot to do with the way we are treated by our family. Families that do not let the morale down in times of trials see all the members rise above the problems and fare well eventually.

Family has the best support system. There is a report as well that has found that those who rally to help in times of need are overwhelmingly family in Pakistan. The proverb ‘charity begins at home’ comes true.

The one most important thing to know with family is forgiveness. I quote Pope Francis here who in a message about family last Christmas said, “There is no perfect family. We have complaints about each other. We are disappointed by one another. There is no healthy marriage or healthy family without the exercise of forgiveness.

Forgiveness is vital to our emotional health and emotional survival. Without forgiveness the family becomes a theatre of conflict and a bastion of grievances. Anyone who does not forgive has no peace of soul and communion with God. Forgiveness brings joy.”

Coming to the more practical side of life, we need to encourage a culture where everybody at home contributes to keeping the house in order, where everyone living under one roof has a share in the daily chores. That would give more free time to the mother/wife who is traditionally seen as a caregiver. Number of such households is increasing with time as men see the importance of sharing housework with women in the family. And mind you, they are generally happy families.

Saadia Salahuddin

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The author is a staff member. She may be reached at saadiasalahuddin@gmail.com

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