The word manifesto comes from Latin, and it connotes something that is very clear and conspicuous. Merriam-Webster defines it as a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve written about defining family in Ways We Want Our Family to Be, asked Who Will Your Family Be? and defined the 8 Traits the Wonder of Children blog focuses on. Now it’s your turn.
Coming off the holiday of love, why not channel that love for your family by taking some time to put it into words, define your priorities and top traits, and outlining how you want your family to be?
I’ll make it easy. I’ll go first in just a bit. I’ll also give you DIY Guide. It’s a cheat sheet with three easy steps and five thought-provoking questions to get you moving ahead.
All I ask in return is that you subscribe to the newsletter, and consider sharing on your social media networks or with like-minded friends. I won’t share your info (of course!) but I will send you the DIY Family Manifesto Guide.
Now I’ll go first.
In our family, what we do, how we treat others and how we view the world matters. We are each unique and gifted. It’s our challenge to share our gifts with the world and to accept the gifts of others. We need the time and space to know ourselves and the courage to share what we know, to learn from others and to offer the world what we can. Our job is to find what and whom we love, and to work diligently to contribute to something bigger than ourselves. We need to see the joy in this work and our relationships and to remain positive even during those times when we cannot always do what we love.
Everyone brings different experiences and struggles to the world and into our lives. We can never walk in anyone else’s shoes, so it’s important we try to be free of judgment and be willing to accept the perspective, needs or gifts of others. We must stay true to our values and ourselves. This may mean speaking up again intolerance, unfairness or bad choices, and again, being honest. This includes respect and openness to the views and needs of others or taking action when needed. We willing to help solve problems, rather than to blame or wrestle with anger over inaction.
We must recognize the good in our lives and the grace whatever higher being you believe in has bestowed upon your life. There will be many in our lives who need our help, from a warm smile to our time to help them to our efforts to make them breakfast or donate something material. Life is challenging and requires us to work hard. Sometimes we can give 85%, but often we must give at least 100%. Conserve energy and put it towards what is most important but do those things required of you (such as taking out the trash) with the same sense of dignity and care.
We can’t always be together; it’s natural to spend and time apart. Stay connected. Check in to say hello and mean it when you ask, “How are you?” Be present or be absent, but not both at the same time. Know what each person enjoys and do your best to enjoy these together. Sometimes being together is more important than what you do together. Be willing to listen, say, “I’m sorry,” or otherwise make reparations when you mess up or are wrong. It will happen to each of us. We all have bad days. We support each other through those and it may mean putting someone else’s needs or desires before your own. That is called being gracious.
We take care of the spaces we share so we can be together. Wake each day grateful that we are privileged inhabit this earth together and be happy or thankful for the same as each day draws to a close. Our time together may be long or short, so our daily interactions must be rooted in love. Say, “I love you” and remember that love is a verb.
So there it is. Do we live this every day? Heck no! We’re flawed humans, but we get up each day willing to try and try again.
Over the years, this has evolved as we have grown. Start simple. Get input from others. Post it where you can see it. Read it. Discuss it. Be it as best you can.
Now it’s your turn. Subscribe to the newsletter and I’ll send the DIY Family Manifesto your way. Share your love with your family. Share this post with your friends, won’t you please?