Context, Perspective, Action

I am sticking with my thinking that community is the key to revolutionizing our culture and society for the better. In my experience, that starts with family...plus we had a family reunion this weekend. Interesting thing this year, was my host of emotions.. I was really glad to see everyone, but I realized how little I know about most of them.. even the closest relatives.

Relationships are predicated on context and perspective associated with purpose and action. I grew up with my cousins, we spent time together all the time, but I barely know them. We mostly have kids now, or are married, or graduating/graduated from college.. all of that provides context, but even in a reunion setting, it is hard to actually learn about one another's lives.

Far easier to give the cursory hugs, whether I remember your name or not...smile and laugh and then go about my business of my "regular" life. Kind of the way we mostly do church these days. As long as we make an appearance, and do what is expected, we don't have to really give of ourselves.

People are messy.. I don't like all of my family members, I am proud of some, ashamed of some, irritated with some, want help from some, desire affirmation from some, and desperately want to be closer to most all of them.. but in our world... Maybe they feel that way, maybe they don't...

My call is to simply love them as they are, understanding the context and perspective of our relationships, and take action to bring my life and my family closer to theirs.. When I am rejected, it is also my job to keep on trying and not get depressed about the "rejection".. If I remember the context and perspectives of our conversations and relationships.. most of my family members are probably feeling exactly like me..

not sure how to really connect anymore...
not always willing to risk exposing their failures and flaws...
not sure that I'll actually still want to be around them...
not sure if our relationship even warrants enough priority to pursue..

People are the MOST IMPORTANT thing...
1. work to build contexts for regular interaction. (parties, dinner, work)this is decidedly non-trivial and requires real work, committment, and time...
2. be aware of different perspectives(we are all at different places in our days, weeks, family development, careers, lives) judging is a waste of time in the end.

ideas.. maybe turn the TV off and call a friend or family member every week a couple of times.. ask about their lives, days, etc.. don't depend on email.. make a plan to reach out to family and friends.. and then DO IT!

if we build communities when we don't need them, then they will be there when we do need them... and I believe that eventually we will all end up in a situation where we need friends and family.. and a "community" or maybe a bunch of them...

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