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A good story to help the future

Generations, multiple generations, they're so important; to the continuity of human existence, of community, of family, and of one's personal identity. This holds for now as much as it did in the past.

Tribe starts with blood, not associations of our own making. The weakness of family bonds today, has engendered the migration of young people to move too quickly to find 'Tribe' outside the family before they have learned the hard work of yielding. This is the understanding of when a battle is worth the fight, the ability to embrace what others need (not just demand) and to grow in the capacity to know the difference, and it all starts with the inner workings of family. This goes for immediate family and then through to the extended family; you know, Grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and such.

The capacity to work out differences and come to real commitment to each other is vital to human balance in the community and specifically in the psychology of the single human being. Every person finds within themselves conflicting thoughts, desires and ambitions. The ability to harmonize our different inner attitudes enables stable relationships externally, as it demonstrates a learned pattern, of coming to understand what is important and what is not.

I had a conversation with a gentleman the other day; it can serve as an example. As a long-standing friend, and as I am a personal counsellor, he asked for my advice about how to approach some friction with his wife, which had been brewing.

Just a note: I am swapping out the actual issue for one of similar concept, to protect their identities, but it seems they have been dealing with things of this type for a long time.

His wife comes from overseas. As she is from a very large family, she was used to always maintaining a pot of left-over stew on the stove. Otherwise, feeding so many mouths would cause a considerable drain on resources. This left-over stew was not the remains of last nights stew. Instead, it was a pot into which went the remains of many meals she would deem reasonably compatible. This pot remained on the stovetop to be continually added to.

So from one vantage point, this appeared wise, as she reasoned this would ensure other leftovers wouldn't go bad. The problem was, the resulting hodgepodge was often unpalatable. Still, not wishing to hurt her feelings, he endured the succession of meals with the best smile he could. You see, the pot was rarely washed out; it just kept growing new meals, from mystery meat and vegetables, ready to fall apart at the slightest stirring in his bowl.

Inner conflict much! His “love” for his wife trumped his need for healthy food.

The culture she had come from was not one which used refrigeration very much, as they used spices to preserve and protect food more. So she was accustomed to using everything up quickly. What resulted was a pot which needed to be regularly dumped because they could not eat the food fast enough. Believe me, he tried; he has gained significant weight over the years. (snicker).

His frustration was legit, but his complaints about having to eat stews and soups, so often, weren't getting him anywhere. Instead she responded with how her family thrived because of doing this as she grew up.

What she hadn't realized was, as a couple, they had no big family, and she now lived in a country where refrigeration and freezers made it practical to save food another way. So a bit of pot roast, sausages or leftover turkey, spruced up with some fresh vegetables, could offer variety at a later time. Consequently, her impulse to save money and the idea of conserving food has led to food waste and greater overall food expenses. The conflict in her desires was creating dissatisfaction in her and outwardly for him.

I pointed out his need to approach this from the perspective of how she is at odds with herself. He could ask her, compassionately, if she was doing this to save food and be responsible financially. If she responded, it was the case, he needed to communicate how good an idea that was. This would set up an avenue to share an alternative way of achieving her goal through refrigeration. Without this inner conflict, she gets her real goal, he gets a nicer, safer meal variety, and they both move on to the same page. I haven't heard back yet as to how things went, but I'm sure the effort at empathy will go a long way. This is a story, one about resolution and effort to understand; it's good; it teaches and helps to grow the inner life.

Stories passed along, of days gone by, of challenges overcome, of understanding, and so growth achieved and goals attained is the nature of relationships; healthy ones, and they are the nature of family spontaneously growing the inner person, and so the culture and community.

But there is an enemy in our midst; it's cancel culture, and it strives to re-contextualize the errors and successes of the past, of our stories to encourage. The agenda is to falsely educate, through skewed statistics and spin, to enlist the naivete and energy of those who don't register history is a mixed bag. There is no our side and their side; there is only we are all in this stew together. If we don't realize this clearly, we will continue to be puppet agents of the malevolent entities of hatred, fear and the most childish, revenge, disguising itself as defence.

Sometimes it appears with butterflies and flowers as entitlement but enters in, to drum up the wounds of the past. Then the generations of today have to live in it: not because they should but because others want that purpose to tout. This persistence of a few, who fancy themselves as having purpose, and those who have no inner concept, are slowly wounding again the hearts of those who have nobly battled away embitterment.

These warriors of the soul have done the work and cast off resentment to heal their people, by starting in their own inner life. Then the stories told may focus on better things out of the past and feed the present and future with good, not grudge. This is necessary for any new wound as well. Don't let them get your inner person; keep offering it to life instead.

This is a faithful victory, an inner victory, one considered for the seven generations forward. This establishes the discipline of fought-for-forgiveness and peaceful collaboration with others who may be different than themselves. It maintains the best of the people they come from, by considering the condition of their own heart. It is not a kind which seeks to master past atrocities by attacking them, but one which views the actions of the past as extensions of the wounded spiritual condition of all humanity, which shows itself in the physical world, regardless of what side of a perceived line harm has come from.

Acts 17: 35-28a shares, “The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of Heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands, nor is served with men's hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives life and breath and all things to all. And He has made all nations of men of one blood to dwell on all the face of the earth, ordaining fore-appointed seasons and boundaries of their dwelling, to seek the Lord, if perhaps they might feel after Him and find Him, though indeed He is not far from each one of us. For in Him we live and move and have our being.” MKJV

So our people are all people, and we're in it together; that's a good story.

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