Here’s a life truth. Whenever there are two or more people in a group there will be differences of opinion. The art of family comes when we are loving our families through our differences. At the least, we can find common ground to enjoy. If we’re willing to do so, we can go further to find the beauty and uniqueness in each other when we accept our differences and choose not to make them the sources of angst. How can we embrace our differences?
Most importantly, we need to take an honest look at each person and think through their unique qualities. Some folks are studious and have their noses in books, others are hands-on. Some family members may be outgoing and gregarious, while others are more reserved and less inclined toward large social gatherings. Those differences are okay! When we look at others through the lens of their individuality instead of our own ideas of who or what they should be, we are able to more fully enjoy them. We are better able to understand differences of opinions and interests. Once we’ve thoughtfully considered these things, then we can work toward compromise and peace.
Sadly, the age we live in is filled with contention and judgment. Especially in the public arena and on social media. We must take care not to allow that contentious mindset to infiltrate our family life. We are each unique and that’s part of the joy of humanity. Think about this:
If we were all exactly of the same mind, opinion, interests, and skills, life would be pretty boring. We’d be like drones going through the motions of life instead of rising to the challenge of growing in mind and spirit.
Personally, I’m thankful for some of the growth I’ve experienced by learning to interact with people of all types, whether in my professional or family life. Learning to interact with others stretches me and makes me a better, more dynamic person. Within family life, I love watching the differences among us, especially the Grands, and seeing us all work toward the ideal of enjoying those differences. We may not have perfected everything about family harmony but we keep at it and don’t give up. The result? Love gets sweeter over time when we don’t give up at the first sign of differences.
Look for the differences in your family this week and spend some time thinking about how to embrace them and turn them into a positive. Everyone will reap the benefits of time so well spent. Let us know in the comments how you’re teaching your Grands about “loving our families through our differences.”
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