Culture Article 4

We greatly value the unique and contributing role of families.

We greatly value the unique and contributing role of families and believe that individuals working in families can accomplish more good in the world than individuals alone. The family unit has the potential to protect, shape, and lift humanity more than any other institution. As families learn, work, and serve harmoniously within the home, family members each develop a positive self-identity grounded in unconditional love. As families cherish one another as unique and irreplaceable, relationships are strengthened. The good that one harmonious family can provide to society is immeasurable.

We believe that families are an asset to society.

We each are here on this earth due to the incredible organic pattern of human reproduction. Because of the equally unique contributions of both males and females, men and women are able to continue humanity forward through generations. This pattern links us to our familial roots and branches. It grounds our individual human experiences to a broader collection of shared human experiences. Family is what keeps us as humans connected to each other in powerful and meaningful ways.

Despite what our family situation has been in the past, or what it is currently, the family structure matters to society as we move into the future. There is the notion that the family is to society as the cell is to anatomy, both are the foundational components which allow for the health and development of a greater body.  Without the protection the family  institution provides, our society is prone to be made up of individuals only, which which puts us at risk for many other potential problems. Therefore, it is imperative that we acknowledge and promote the importance of the family unit as the basic unit of society. It is also critical that we promote the connection and joy that can be found in family life.

The family, as a unified group, is powerful beyond measure. We use the term family capital to describe the special collective power within a harmonious family. Family capital is the concept that the family unit is greater than the sum of its parts. When all the members of a family work together, the resulting power for good is greater than the sum of each individual alone. The same way healthy cells multiply and regenerate to heal the body if it is sick or weak , healthy families multiply the good through positive and cooperative values that replenish communities. As each member of a family is valued and loved for their unique characteristics, each person is given room to becomes a powerful asset to the whole body. This in turn builds internal resilience and fortitude which acts as a protective measure for families and communities to overcome tremendous hardships together, to achieve the impossible together, to innovate, to problem-solve, to create an endless supply of good in the world, together!  

As a Big Ocean cottage, consider highlighting and promoting the good works of families by sharing family experiences on social media and using the hashtag #FamilyCapital. We encourage you to share your service, wholesome activities, and the uplifting experiences of your family.

Intergenerational connectedness

We are not alone in this world, rather, we are like links in a vast intergenerational chain of family members and relatives that span across time. We embrace this fact and seek to preserve and renew our relationships with family members past, present, and future. We understand that fostering these relationships, through stories, traditions, foods, and healthy family bonds, will not only strengthen us today, but will strengthen future generations and heal parts of the past as well. As we move forward we carry the banner of our foremothers and forefathers and acknowledge their great role in our personal journeys today.

This is more than a nicety but is a proven assistance to the health and well-being of our children. A study by Dr. Duke at Emory University showed that children who knew the stories of their ancestors were much more emotionally resilient than those who did not. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/17/fashion/the-family-stories-that-bind-us-this-life.html

Discussion Questions

  • What are ways the family structure has blessed your life? What are ways it has been a challenge to you?
  • What have been some of the criticism made against the family? Why?
  • How can you share your feelings about the value of the family, while still being sensitive to those with differing views?
  • How have past family members shaped who you are today?
  • What are some hardships your family has faced?
  • What are some of the hardships families in your community face today?
  • How can you help strengthen your own family and the families around you?
  • What are some characteristics of resilient families? Do you have any stories in your family where you have demonstrated resilience during a difficult period in your life?
  • What are some positive ways your cottage can promote the value of family together?
  • What have you seen or experienced that has shaped your ideas about the family?