That may seem a bit of a sweeping statement although in our deepest heart we know it to be true, because many of us have accepted a smaller version of family in order to survive.
When I was a small child I would play families with my mother’s button box, I also played with stones and with many other objects. I would group things by colour, by shape and by texture. Reflecting on that way of playing made me realise that is how we group people: we put together and respect people by colour or by features that are ‘familiar’, because they have something in common, they look alike, or they feel like someone we are comfortable with and can value. We discriminate even though in truth we are all equal.
We talk about blood ties being thicker than water but we all have the same DNA, the same blood flowing in our veins – we may have differing blood types but there is not Jones Family Blood or Smith Family blood, there is just blood in all of us. Whoever you are if you need blood in a hospital transfusion it is chosen by just a few Blood Types (A, AB, B or O). As a friend of mine recently said, even ‘Blue blood’ is red.
True Brotherhood is not yet ubiquitous, we tend to act differently depending on where we are and who we are with, for example, at work we might be professional and hardworking, in the supermarket we might be polite but distant and then when we are back in our families we let it all hang out, we collapse, let go of the polite exterior, and that’s where the greatest abuse can happen.
What some of us are learning, thanks to Universal Medicine is that True Family is about being the same one person with everybody regardless of whether we are at work or at home or anywhere in our local community. We can choose to be open and transparent, respectful and communicative with everyone we meet.
I was horrified the other day to observe two small boys speaking to each other in angry tones, the same tones I have heard their parents use – like many children they are learning by example, copying the adults around them. Children learn about life from their families, we all learn from our families, they are our first ‘school’ and that is why it is so important that a whole community accepts responsibility for raising children, so that they can learn to communicate with respect in their wider community and not accept any kind of abuse.
Many people think abuse in the home is acceptable, it is not, but I do understand why it happens, because living and working in close quarters with anybody brings up all our stuff and if we are not supported in knowing how to let go of our hurts without abusing another person, we tend to react with strong emotions and lose track of the need to treat everyone with respect and decency.
Abuse of any kind is not natural but we have come to accept it as normal. I am learning that to speak harshly with frustration to my partner is abuse. Speaking to him in any way that is not loving is abuse.
As the Bishop Michael Curry from Chicago said at a recent Royal Wedding,
‘When love is the way, there’s plenty good room – plenty good room – for all of God’s children. Because when love is the way, we actually treat each other, well … like we are actually family.
When love is the way, we know that God is the source of us all, and we are brothers and sisters, children of God.’
Being British I was brought up with the Royal Family as part of our culture, and they could be considered role models for us. I have seen the Queen in passing and I am the same age as Princess Anne but I don’t know any of them personally, I only know what I have seen of them on TV or in the press. I actually have no idea how they are with each other at home, they are certainly distant from each other in public.
In my own immediate family, boarding school set us apart and I learned to hold back and not let people in. I’m 67 now, nearly 68 and it has taken me a long time to get to a place where I can be open and transparent with everyone I meet. I love having hugs and I get more hugs from my friends than I ever did in my blood family, so I tend to consider my friends as family too.
When we look at humanity, the broader picture, in truth we are all one family, the family of human beings that inhabit this Earth. At the moment we live separate lives but the time is coming when we recognise each other by our essence and not by our colour, race or creed. The time is coming when we let go of our hurts and live in appreciation not judgement. The time is coming when we can treat each other with absolute respect and decency. The time is coming when we can all live the love that we are in true brotherhood where everybody is seen and felt as equal. This is our future and we can live that now, live as one true family, it is our choice.