Monday, September 29, 2008
The Way Families Win
Winston Churchill said, "We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills." And humorist Bob Orben added, "That sounds a lot like our family vacations." And for some people it sounds a lot like everyday life.
The problem is not whether we who live in families will have squabbles, arguments and fights. My worry is more whether those conflicts will end anytime soon. I don’t want home life to become the Hundred Years’ War – going on and on with no end in sight while the casualties mount. Conflicts need to have an ending so that the family can get about its real business.
At one point during a game, the coach said to one of his young players, "Do you understand what cooperation is? What a team is?" The little boy nodded yes.
"Do you understand that what matters is whether we win together as a team?" The little boy nodded yes.
"So," the coach continued, "when a strike is called, or you are out at first, you don't argue or curse or attack the umpire. Do you understand all that?" Again, the boy nodded yes.
"Good," said the coach. "Now go over there and explain it to your mother."
I believe a family can be like that sports team. A successful family wins as a team. But if its members are intent upon winning their own individual battles with one another, the team loses.
A winning solution is to work out the differences and, when it’s over, let it be over. Then they can get back in the game as a team.
-- Steve Goodier
Image: flickr.com/Jeff Latimer