11 Oct Why Family Culture Matters & How Can You Turn It into an Outstanding Legacy
“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.” (Mother Teresa)
What is a family? What do we define as “family”? Do we consider it to consist only of the people we are related to by blood? Do we also include people which we meet during our journey through life – people who have a substantial impact on us or become our best friends?
Every one of us most probably has a different definition for family, so it would be natural to have various views on the meaning of family culture. The dictionary states that family culture consists of the set of values, defined by behaviors which become embedded in an enterprise as a result of the leadership provided by family members, past and present.
But let’s step out of the dictionary and come back to real life. There are so many cultures on the planet, and all have a distinct understanding of what family means. Different cultures imply different value hierarchy. Still, when it comes to family culture, all societies agree: the traditions, habits, practices, and values that a family has are the family culture. If you think that you don’t have a family culture, you’re wrong. Every family in the world does. So do you.
Do you read books (to your children but also for yourself)? Do you like or practice sports or any outdoor activities? Are you movie fans? Do you enjoy home-cooked meals – or merely good food in general? Are you early morning birds or night hawks? Anything and everything you do can be your family culture, not just traditions or values to guide you through life. Just think of the things that make you and your family unique, even though they seem odd to others – or the whole world.
The ordinary (but oh, so magical!) everyday moments are the best place you can start looking for what defines your family culture. And once you have identified it, nurture it – and it will become a protective fence around your family!
Why are the everyday things in life so important? Because your children will most likely remember such happenings rather than some boring speech you gave them once as a moral lesson. We always remember the little things.
We always remember those moments when we laughed or danced in the rain or maybe hugged a tree altogether. We remember eating ice-cream with our fingers instead of spoons because mom forgot to pack the spoons when leaving for the park getaway. We always remember falling off the bike and dad coming to the rescue, pretending to fall as well, to make his kids save face.
Any such moment is part of your family culture.
And the most fantastic part of it is that you can pass it on to future generations, so they could cherish it and carry it on.
For instance, you can make a visual board (with photos and quotes) and send it as a gift to the future for your kids when they are old – or for their children or grandchildren. You can create a video collage if you have the raw material, and do the same thing, send it as a gift to your family years from now. Imagine their surprise and joy – and that moment will too become part of your family culture.
Always keep in mind that durable, happy, and long-lasting families don’t happen by accident; the people in the family build them.
Besides, family culture is created whether we intend to or not. It can be created by default. So why not creating it willingly so that we can base it on proper values and high moral piers? Would you like your family culture to be created by chance? Shouldn’t you better make conscious decisions? Such decisions will bring consistency, joy, and help you connect with your childrenfor life, and even after you’re no longer next to them!
Follow your heart and your intuition! They will lead you on the right path. Keep in mind that people who give others so much to remember are impossible to forget.
When receiving the gift which will remind them of how your family culture came into being, your children will say: