This is an intriguing subject as there are many and varying ideals concerning the subject of family in the mundane, let alone the VC/OVC. As in all things, I prefer to start by looking at things in their simplistic form. I first look at the base definition of family:
Definition of family
- The basic unit in society traditionally consisting of two parents rearing their children; also : any of various social units differing from but regarded as equivalent to the traditional family a single-parent family
- A group of individuals living under one roof and usually under one head : household
- a group of persons of common ancestry : clan
- people or group of peoples regarded as deriving from a common stock : race
- A group of people united by certain convictions or a common affiliation : fellowship
This causes me to look at it from a slightly different angle, the one of Clan:
Definition of clan
- a : a Celtic group especially in the Scottish Highlands comprising a number of households whose heads claim descent from a common ancestor the MacDonald clan
b : a group of people tracing descent from a common
- a group united by a common interest or common characteristics
Given that these are basic definitions from Merriam Webster, it gives me a basis of my personal thoughts in reference to what a family, or Clan, is supposed to be. Now I look at what a family is made of:
Progenitors: ancestors, common bloodlines
Grandparents: Elders, Patriarchs, Matriarchs
Parents: Leaders, future Elders
Kin: siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles
Adopted: Not of blood, but has integrated into the family unit, supports the ideals of the family
Friends: especially best friends; they have seen you at your best and worst and know secrets that your family may not.
Family, or Clans, are supposed to teach each generation of the history of the family and encourage them to learn more and succeed those in the family. They should be at peace with other families, though this is not always the case (Capulets and Montagues, Hatfields and McCoys, the Manson Family and everyone else…). However, family always sticks with family; even if they go out into the world, learn new things, relate to others, the family will always come first. In fact, they will integrate their new learning into the precepts and concepts of the family moving forward. Family will ALWAYS have each other’s back; back-to-back they will take on all that try to harm the family. You can always count on family to be there. To quote Robert Frost:
Eloquent, yet simple. Now I will turn my attention to the term Family as it relates to the community.
The VC/OVC is not so far removed from the technical definitions. The problems are seeing each other as brethren and identifying those that are a problem/or a danger to the community as a whole. Most of the organizations that I have dealt with, especially the more long-standing and successful, have an intrinsic sense of family regardless of their structure. There is a hierarchy and very well laid out ideals of what their family is all about. Moreover, the Patriarchs/Matriarchs/Elders/Leaders have a healthy sense of who they are and have open communications with their compatriots of other organizations. They spend time with those they are teaching and nurturing, and help those that are just entering their organizations. They encourage learning and communication and lead by example; hence the family learns the correct protocols of behavior and etiquette. Each member of the family helps everyone, thus synergy is born to carry the family forwards.
- is there, no matter what.
- Will defend you to the end, even if they disagree with you
- Will tell you the truth, no matter how much it hurts
- Will be beside you through good and bad
- Will not betray the family no matter what
I think it’s important to identify how a family DOESN’T operate to be clear and succinct on the subject:
Family does not:
- Run at the first sign of danger
- Abandon you in your time of need
- Cavort with those that are known to be detrimental to the family
- Abandon family principles or let themselves be influenced by other principles that are contrary to the ideals and traditions of the family
- Does not put loved ones or other family members in a position to choose between them or the family
- Does not leave the family; sticks through all things regardless
- Run when they’ve besmirched the family then set themselves up in a position they have not been trained for, especially without the blessings of the family
- Do not publicly slander family members before others in the community
- Betray trust
- Make alliances or policies without consulting the Elders of the family
Blood doesn’t make you family; family makes you blood.
Copyright Stefan Resurrectus 2018 (unless otherwise noted)
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