Family relationships can be tricky. Despite our common heritage, we often find ourselves at odds with one another. There are many things that can drive families apart – money, politics, religion, marriage, divorce, children – sometimes it’s as benign a factor as simply a geographical separation.
This is nothing new. Most of us have heard stories about family members that simply could not tolerate each other. In extreme cases, such as the Civil War that sometimes pitted brother against brother, it can poison generations of a family, but more frequently, the warring parties eventually come to some sort of truce.
Although these tales often add spice to our family histories, the principals involved more than likely suffered through their own personal anguish and heartbreak. In these changing times, many of the pressures that can drive a wedge in family relationships may seem to be amplified and omnipresent. It would be prudent to resist the temptation to sign on to any of these destructive forces.
In our families, there should be more that unites us than divides us and that unity of support is something we can all use today and something that future generations can look back upon with pride.
Writing prompt for the day: Identify strained relationships in your family and try to find a common ground that will help heal them.
Larry Lehmer is a professional personal historian and senior legacy planner at When Words Matter in Des Moines, Iowa. To learn more, visit his web site, send him an e-mail or follow him on Twitter.