Thursday, February 26, 2009

Investment in Your Family: Building and Maintaining Relationships (Part I)

we are each other's business:
we are each other's magnitude and bond.”
Gwendolyn Brooks, U.S. poet and novelist. Family Pictures, Paul Robeson

1: Sunset walk with dad, mum and kids

2: Close family ties: A small herd of dolphins

It's really surprising to see most quotations on the family mostly by famous Western persons are on the negative side. The usual finds are on how the family is like a prison or comparing it to a life of hell or something less than that extreme portrayal.

The thing with relatives and family is that we cannot, or we do not have the power to, choose our relations. And this idea that we have to live, grow and deal with people we are not sure we will like (well, if we've been thinking about it before our birth), sparks the ire of many individuals.

A lot of events in our society, from the awful to the appalling, are blamed to the family as its basic unit. What we do in the bigger scope of human relationships stem from how we deal within the smallest medium of daily social interaction. This has been the basic standpoint of many schools of psychoanalytic thought such as Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung and the other sailors of the subconscious.

It is also true that sometimes, we find tragic flaws of not a few successful people in their family trees, either in the roots or the twigs. A wealthy and frugal businessman can be drained of his earnings by his spendthrift wife, or in some cases a hardworking career mother can be unduly complemented by a drunkard. That is pretty basic, other complications include, having spoiled brats daddy-I-want-a-pony-and-I-want-one-right-now as kids, and having a marred relationships with parents and in-laws.

We can look at this and turn around and see big big family-owned businesses prospering, bearing fruit, and even further strengthening along with their family ties as well. They may have black sheep in the fold, but they're generally in harmony. There is no question then which is the better set up, we will always want to prosper and succeed along with our immediate family.

There's just so much complexity with compatibility. We usually do not want to exert that much just for family and success in relationships, which are oftentimes viewed as liabilities, rather than assets. Yes, liabilities - mum and dad's healthcare, the kids going to college, and sometimes financially helping our poorer relatives - all these are necessary expenses that are good in themselves and also an indication of certain family values.

Let’s turn this around as well, then, and look at it in a positive light. What happens is that we begin to care and when we do, the situation starts to get better as well. Why? Can we think of our family as our assets in business and financial sense? And how exactly do we do that? Let’s explore that next.


Investment in Your Family/Relationships: Building and Maintaining Relationships (Part II)

Investment in Your Family/Relationships: Building and Maintaining Relationships (Part III)

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