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Sunday, July 24, 2011

The definition of family

You might think of a family as those of whom you live with, such as your wife and children, or your mother and father and siblings and yourself. Yet that is but one example of a family. That family is the smallest sample size. It is considered the traditional family.

The true definition of family is all those who are the descendants of a common progenitor. For those who follow thte Bible that would be all who are in the lineage of Adam or, even more specific, Abraham.

Jesus would describe the family as all of us living in unity. A more specific definition of family is a group of people with a common goal or job or some sort of commonality. In this way, RTs are members of the RT family, and RNs are a member of the RN family.

Yet all RTs and RNs are members of the medical care giver family. And we are all working for the common goal of making the world a better place; of helping people in need. In essence, that really should be the common goal of all people.

So we are all one big family. It is not easy living as a family. Consider for example last Christmas. How many of you can say that you did not have a fight with one of your siblings or your parents or spouse around Christmas time. If you did not say yes, then chances are you are fibbing. Because Christmas is a very stressful time

If you're like me, you open up new boxes of toys that need to be assembled, and you don't read the directions. So my wife lectured me about how I need to read directions -- after I was finished and had a screw leftover.

A lot of people think the first family doesn't have a lot of tension because they are sheltered and pretty much get whatever they want. Yet I bet Obama and his children fight behind the scenes. What we see is the glory side of their lives; the side they want us to see.

Most people are like me and have an insular view of the family of Mary and Joseph and Jesus. We see them as being the perfect family because they are the family of God and protected by His angels. Yet there were many stresses during those days, many far worse than what we face today. Consider the following words of my priest:
"This Solemnity of the Holy Family celebrates and remembers the nuclear family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. We behold the wonder of this family unit in their love and devotion for one another, and they stand before our eyes as a model for our own familial relationships. It is too easy of many of us to look and say, "Well, that was them! Such an attitude is a mistake to that the Holy Family endured so many of the same challenges that many families today face: economic stress and poverty, forced to being refugees and having to fend for themselves in a foreign country, fear of terrorism from a tyrannical government, "tongue-wagging" from gossipers, fear for the safety of their child in a dangerous world. Yet, in the face of all of this, they remained faithful to God and each other. many of us are challenged in living harmonious family lives; we need to look to the example of the Holy Family to be reminded of what we could experience in the family dynamics of our own."
Consider that King Herod feared that someone would take power from him, because his power was a gift from the Roman Emperor. He was the Roman declared "King of Judea," yet as soon as he learned of the birth of Jesus, the true King of the Jews, he had the light of day scared into him.

So he called for a census. Back in those days the census takers did not go to your house, you had to go to theirs. So Mary and Jesus had to go to town with little Jesus. On the way they had the fear of robbers. Once in town they feared someone might try to kidnap the child.

Every year, according to the Gospel of Paul (Paul 2: 41-49) Mary and Joseph had to take their family to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival. One year when Jesus was 12 and the festival was over, Jesus disappeared. Mary and Joseph searched frantically for three days thinking perhaps Jesus was kidnapped to be sold as a slave.

They ultimately found him at a Jewish Temple and Jesus said, "Why did you have to look for me? Didn't you know that I had to be in my Father's house?"

Yet that was little assurance to the parents.

So the family is a unity, and we work together for the common goal, and we rejoice together and we share the common fears at the things that try to attack our goals and set us back in our objectives.

You can see here that all families face challenges, and therefore must work together in perfect unity to conquer the challenges and make the world better than when we left than when we entered. Ultimately, we nurses, doctors and respiratory therapists are a part of this big family, and our goal is to make the world better one breathe at a time.


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