How you are in your family is how you are in life – only on a more extreme and naked level.

Recognise that everything you see in your mother and father is an aspect of you reflected back at you. That everything you see in your brothers and sisters is an aspect of you reflected back at you.

No wonder so many of us can’t stand being around our family for any extended period of time.

But that is precisely why they are your family. To show you what you need to work on.

And, while you can run away from your family, you can’t run away from yourself.

As Michael Brown ( has put it, “If you are protesting for peace, but you cannot sit at peace at the dinner table with your mother and father, that is completely inauthentic.”


If you consider how dysfunctional many families are when they only have three or four people in them, is it any wonder how dysfunctional the human family is?


Never mind ‘family values’; wherefore are the values that will serve the human family?

I am as weak and helpless as the weakest and most helpless. This isn’t some trite cliché. It is simply this: that when it comes to alleviating hunger and poverty around the world, I feel weak and helpless, due to the fact that I don’t really know what I could do that would truly make a difference. And I would suggest that this sense of frustration and powerlessness is pretty universal.

And the more we try to fix it and solve it, the worse it seems to get.

And, maybe the idea is that we don’t try to fix and solve it. That, instead, we address the fact that we, individually, and collectively, feel weak and helpless, frustrated and powerless.

Because while this may be the truth of how we feel, right now, it isn’t the absolute truth. At our essence, and at our core, we are not weak and helpless, frustrated and powerless. These are all behaviours and beliefs we have acquired over time.

More than anything, then, if you would like to be free of these beliefs and behaviours – because they are not the truth and they really don’t serve you in any way – question these behaviours and beliefs, as they show up. And see what you can believe and how you can behave instead.


To cultivate and enjoy a happy and fulfilling family life is one of the greatest challenges that faces the human animal, and hence, when successful, is one of its most rewarding accomplishments.

All of which is magnified a billion fold when one addresses the human family.

© Phillip A. Klein March 2008

Published in: on March 16, 2008 at 3:25 pm  Leave a Comment