Family

Creating a Culture: Intentionally Kind

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Before I lose you in Blah Blah Land, I’ll get straight to the point. We are a closet family of closeness. Other families might roll their eyes or say it’s impossible, but from the get-go, regular sibling bashing and frays haven’t been allowed. One go-to phrase I’ve used is he or she “is a person. You respect people.” Besides sassy words and attitudes to parents not tolerated, nit-picking, grudges, rivalry, coercion, trickery, deception, lording over, power trips, stealing, misuse of property, and trust infringement among siblings have been high triggers for us parents to step in.

If at all possible, we want to infuse a “friends for life” mentality. No one else will have these shared experiences, understandings about these specific parental figures, nor these common genetics. It’s not a forced you will be besties no matter what imperative, rather coming across as a worthwhile –and fun– pursuit.

As you can tell from the featured image, since 2015 we’ve written note cards for one another. I’ll come up with some sort of theme and we all use it as a prompt. For a day or two, we fit in our free time writing one card for each person in the family. At a determined time, we sit down and read together. One person goes first as to who listens to the rest. Maybe it’s awkward, but the moral of the story is to build morale, a team bond of support. Then we go around the room, reading out loud our own written words, handing the card over to the receiver when done and letting another read his/her card. It reminds me of this African tribe. It’s a practice both in developing compliments and receiving kind words. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to for family members to share eye contact and smiles. When done, we add them to our growing personal stacks. Since we do note cards roughly every three months, it’s about time for our next round.

I don’t mind being abnormal when it contributes to something extraordinary. Unlike love letters being burned because a relationship breaks apart, I hope these tokens of appreciation only fuel familial affinity and assure personal confidence. I try so hard to be positively intentional on many fronts. Hopefully the cumulative affect will amount to an incredible bolstering. My head envisions fondness and my heart wants to convey devotion. Perhaps our loyal (to the extent of being wearying) efforts will pay off. I’m certainly praying it does.

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