Mother Theresa said, “When we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”
I love that quote. Deep resonance.
Maybe it’s because my family is a distant sort of family in many respects but I just don’t get the whole family as supreme relationship thing. When people bring it up to me, what about your father/mother, your grandfather/mother (whatever) I say, “What? My bodies ancestors?” I’m all for the powers of DNA but the whole sentimental thing about families just makes me a little queasy.
Family, like religion, has caused divisiveness up the wazoo! Who needs the old, our family is smarter/better/bigger/wiser/weirder/more dysfunctional/ happier (whatever) than your family?
I guess family is the first, and all too often last, proving ground for unconditional love. I know it took me 50 years or so to come to truly love and respect my parents – about as long as it took me to come to truly love and respect myself I suppose.
Children of course are easier to love unconditionally right from the get go, but they have to go through the usual channels to get to that point with their parents, so all is not a bowl of cherries there either. So I guess that initial proving ground stuff is what makes people wax eloquent about the family, in hopes of making it seem a bit more ideal than might actually be the case. After all, what would the neighbors think? But really..
Mother Theresa is right. We belong to each other. Can’t we get past the family thing (and the state thing and the region thing and the country thing and the religion thing and the political thing) and work a bit harder at owning the fact that we ALL belong to each other?
To answer that you may want to read, A Dog’s Purpose (from a 6 year old)