School of Sharing: The Extended Family. Stronger and More Secure Together Than Apart
Unlike most people here in the last four or five generations, who thought complete and final independence was the highest value, there is an old and greater natural security in the extended family, a place and school of wisdom for those who are willing and who share the same values, showing respect for natural hierarchy.
So, what are some of these benefits?
Financially pooling resources is the first benefit which makes extending property on site easier; there is taking turns helping to care for sick loved ones and, of course, babysitting.
It is also a simpler means to passing on values, wisdom and skills inter-genenerationally. Helping with homeschooling, learning chores and home repairs from a young age into old age.
There is always available free advice and support in conflict resolution; learning to strive so that love (“preferring the good of the other”) always finds a way through obstacles…
It is also life’s natural answer to loneliness: for both young and old.
Security comes in this school of sharing and collaboration because there is always someone to listen, to help, to teach, to correct, to help make amends….to say nothing of others being there for you to help you back on your feet in difficult financial times.
Most people who live in extended families in time find the balance between privacy and common living, and pooling resources makes this easier in time.
Nothing is always easy in this world, but some things are worth striving for. And the rewards here can be greater than any losses, IF we learn how to look out for one another, both spiritually and in terms of home economics.
Finding security in this world was never meant to be so hard. The extended family of the willing is creation’s natural remedy for this.
Sure, it requires a measure of surrendering the modern temptation to total self-centeredness, but love is learned through acceptance and struggle against selfishness. Humility is a blessed virtue which pays rich dividends.
Creation’s natural hierarchy is family, age, and the wisdom that comes with having gone before.
Families are stronger together than apart.
____ See also The Sacred Task of Grandparents