Wednesday, April 26, 2006

i'm ready

The other day i had an original thought. It was "i think i'm ready to start the revolution". Great, but what revolution? I dunno. If you do, drop me a note or something, i need help with ideas where to start. Currently i'm thinking about focusing on the Black Family.

A few weeks ago i was talking to someone and told them that there's a difference between our ideal family, and our actual family. Politicians say things like 'family values' and all kinds of abstract slogans. But if we really think about it, we wouldn't want everyone in the world to have the type of family or families that we have. All families have problems, no doubt. But the question may not be how do we eliminate the problems, but what does a healthy family look like?

In psychology, they have the DSM4, 5 or some other version. It's a mini-encyclopedia of how people are disfunctional. Of course, somewhere theres probably a version of that for families. But that's looking in the wrong direction. It's like reviewing all the statistics about Black America. They in themselves are simply descriptions of the problem, and those statistics point to what we don't want, but they don't tell us how to get there from here.

Looking in a direction that'll have hopefully a more positive impact, i'll say that we have to create a model of a healthy family. We have to research what works in existing healthy families, and teach that to dys-functional families. Simply saying 'don't do this' won't help. I do kinda like the presence of Dr. Phil and the Nanny on TV. That teaches those other losers that really should be on Jerry how to get their stuff together. But when i watch the shows, i find that some of the stuff i see there (good intentions but bad execution) are present in my own family. So i guess i need to find a healthy family and figure out what they're doing.

So far i've got a few clues. I'll just rattle them off and add to them later, or make you read up on them yourself. Suzette Elgin in the gentle art of verbal self-defense (series). Virginia Satir in her peoplemaking and new peoplemaking books. And Steven Covey with his family book- admitedly, i only read 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and only skimmed through 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families, but if what i read was any indication of the full book, then he's on target.

Perhaps the most important thing on a practical level is to figure out how to have couples and families discuss money in a non-confrontational way. Money may or may not be the root of ALL evil, but it does some serious damage on marriage. So part of the plan is to get people to look at their finances (and their fiances) with a fine-toothed comb.

On a more philosophical level, we also have to create a healthy portrait of an individual in the context of a family. . . how he or she could operate that assists the family in its development whether as a spouse, child or parent. That being said, i think the second most generous thing a person can do for a child is to love that child's parent(s), the first of course being to love the child.

So that's it, describing how healthy families operate on both a practial and philosophical level, and helping families get their finances right would be the backbone of any revolution i'm a part of. Game?
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