“International Day of Families”

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15th May 2024

Today is the International Day of Families, a day to commemorate the strongest part of one’s household & what gives every individual a sense of belonging & affection.

The family is what keeps us all together & elevates us towards a brighter & better future.

However, of late, we all have been busy with our own world, our challenges and aspirations.

The good morning message or the birthday and anniversary greeting on social media, the condolence message, the folded hand meme, the RIP, have all become the convenient alternative to personal interaction and social calls. It has started becoming the norm.

Can or should we allow technology to replace human emotions, the feel of a touch, the warmth of a hug, the caress, the pat on the shoulder, the feeling that we are all in this together.

Admittedly, no family is perfect. We all have skeletons in our cupboards. Relatives may drive us crazy and often there may be unresolved issues involving hurt feelings and even jealousy. All of us deal with dysfunctional family relationships on some level or the other.

Yet we should not allow the family to drift away, and neither should we succumb to excuses, of personal priorities, of comfort, of lack of time etc.

Family relationships are not always easy, they can be very demanding at times, but they are important bonds and it is worthwhile to go that extra mile to preserve relationships within the family.

Today the problem of keeping the family together seems to be even more acute and even more urgent. Because of increased global mobility, family members often move further and further away from the communities they grew up in. They lose touch with their kith and kin. Family histories are lost and with it, the delight and pain of shared moments of love and giving.

Hence the importance of family reunions is profound. Generally, weddings, anniversaries, birthdays and even funerals are occasions when families assemble together.

The practice of holding family reunions is the best way to generate a feeling of togetherness among branches and generations of family members.

At such moments of togetherness families feel closely bound as they participate in organised activities and partake of meals designed especially for those occasions.

Family reunions establish healthy family relationships and are a means of sharing family memories for everyone involved.

There are many who contend that one of the country’s greatest problems is the continuing decline in family values and sense of family unity. There are many things we need to do as a nation and as a community to reverse the trend.

Clearly one of them is to continue and strengthen the tradition of family reunions.

These gatherings can provide significant personal enrichment and perspective.  Can any of us afford not to cultivate the bonds with our relatives, which define us, help to sustain us and our heritage and pride from generation to generation?

If family is not important, what is?

On this special day,

Let’s, spend time with our family,

Let’s forgive & forget,

Let’s call up an estranged family member,

Let’s make the family feel special,

Let’s all make the extra effort.

Let’s all meet more often with family and have more reunions.

Let’s share & care,

Let’s just be there,

Let’s nurture the Bond

and Stay Blessed forever.