Hope Through a Thorny Present

The end of another day at the beach.
The end of another day at the beach.

We all have families of one kind or another. I grew up in a closely knit family. The six of us traveled in a car, a travel trailer and even a motor home. We ate, hiked, played, watched TV together, went to church together and more. After we two oldest sisters married and moved away to other states, we all moved away from each other. We still loved each other and kept in touch. Then the youngest daughter married and she too moved away. Our brother married and stayed in South Carolina near our parents.

As time went by our parents passed away and we had our own careers and famlies. We kept in touch but with busy schedules, we communicated less and less. We now mostly stay in touch on Facebook. But we still love each other enough to call once in a while and send Christmas cards.

Advance to the present. We three oldest kids have our own families. I had one son and formally adopted another son, whose parents had passed away. The youngest sister has her husband, dog and loves interacting with their church youth group on a regular basis. We each have “adopted” others we consider additions to our family now. Although the rest of us don’t know the new family members, we understand the need to have “family” style connections close to us.

I think maybe some people have had such difficult relationships with their family or parents, (often for valid reasons). Some of these people who have no families have “adopted” others or other groups to promote a closeness they lacked from their own family. This closeness must be pretty important for many of us, for so many to be “adopting” new families.

I wonder sometimes how many families have split apart because of just plain stubborness over different beliefs, spouses, ethics, politics or whatever. This causes me to wonder and even feel sad that some families have split over their differences. As a child you believe your family is forever. Then variations in beliefs and or relationships cause the relationships to fray and then unravel. To me this is so sad.

It’s sad that someone (the parent, child, sibling, or other realtive) was so harmful, hateful, egocentric, or lost in their own pain sometimes that they couldn’t bear for their family to see them the way they were and just left their family.

As a nurse I encountered several patients who had either cut themselves off from their families or been cut off from their familes due to differences in beliefs, sexual preferences, religious differences, stubborness, or just moves from or to other places. One I wrote about was in the following blog post. https://joyful2beeblogs.com/2022/02/01/cancer-patient-gives-a-gift/ . There had been some kind of rift between her and her family member. From what I was told she died with no family to come see her, which to me is a sad thing. No closure, no reconciliation, no apologies no healing.

Right now, it seems that our country is splitting up in ways similar to the families mentioned above. There are the Haves versus the Have-nots; the Republicans versus the Democrats; the Liberals versus the Conservatives; the Whites (not all!) versus the Blacks, Native Americans, Mexicans, South Americans and/or Asians; the gun owners who want more guns versus those who are hurting from the loss of a loved one because of gun or other type of violence. Need I go on?

I guess in reality our country was never really united on many levels. Historically everytime a large group of immigrants came to America, they were treated badly with prejudice, murders, stealing, suspicion, hangings, persecution, abuse, enslavement or something worse. They were after all “DIFFERENT.” Some white people have been and still are treating other white people like this too, when they don’t believe or stand for the same ideals. I didn’t even mention the Native Americans who were here first! The “new” Americans killed many of them and stole the land from them. Is this a “Dog eat dog country??”

Gee, I thought this was the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave! Sometimes it seems we are slowly becoming the “Land of the Dysfunctional and the Abused!” But I have more faith in our country and our world.

Thankfully there are families that come together who are not related; who have similar beliefs and can enjoy each other’s company without fighting or arguing. These families are of all kinds of people with all kinds of interests, beliefs, goals, and dreams mixed together. Some of these families are in churches; some are groups made of people with goals or interests in common. Families can be formed whether there is a genetic realtionship or not.

I want to believe that this country, is going through “labor pains” now of developing a country that will be a leader in helping and teaching other countries. Then hopefully, probably many years in the future we will all join to become truly: “One Nation.” Then maybe someday later we all could become “One World.”

This seems impossible now. But nothing is impossible. I pray that someday, regardless of who we worship, believe in, follow, admire, hate, or trust or distrust, we will outgrow being a childish world of power struggles and the attitude of “My country is better than your country!” The world is not a football game. It is a nursery for its inhabitants to learn to get along and grow with each other, instead of against each other.

I love my country, warts and all, because we are not our ancestors. At least we don’t have to be. We may learn from their history of goals accomplished and failures, from their mistakes if we study and learn how to solve the problems they and we have with each other; as well as with the deficits of education and safe loving homes, poverty, hatred, and prejudice.

Can we please try to just one day at a time, not be hating others who are “not like us”? We are all people! Not White, Black, Asian, Indian or whatever. We are all people who came into the world just like everyone else. Please try to look for something good to grab hold of about other people. For some it may be difficult, but try to see others in messed up lives as people who are sick in one way or another. Show kindness, compassion; share some hope, a smile, an offer to help in some way. Maybe we can pull someone out of the well of dispair by giving them some validation that they are still humans, regardless of their present lives. People can change and grow, given the opportunity. I believe this.

5 thoughts on “Hope Through a Thorny Present

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