How instrumental was your home life in making you who you are today? Were you loved, or unloved? Paid attention to, or ignored?
It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start. — Mother Teresa
We all know what happens to a seed that is planted but given no water, no sunshine. If the plant grows at all, it will be less than it might have been if cared for. The same goes for us when we are unloved or ignored in childhood. And if that happens, there are sad consequences to come for us.
We are unfilled, so we try to fill ourselves. We may ‘take it out’ on someone in adulthood. We may become mean and self-serving, grabbing for the love we ought to have experienced, but did not. And since, we learned in an environment of bad parenting, we may pass that inadequacy on to our own children without meaning to–because how can we teach what we don’t know?
And yet, we have the ability to rise above our sad experiences. We have the God-given power of choice.
If an unloved child experiences neglect or abuse, he/she surely knows that is what he DOES NOT want. He may look around for the love he missed, or she may gravitate toward anything that looks like love. After all, a tiny plant growing without sunlight strains toward even the tiniest portion of light.
The good news is that there is abundant light to be had. The light of Jesus Christ will be shared with us, if we lean toward it. And it is a light that heals. A light that is vital today.
THE IMPORTANCE OF TODAY’S FAMILY CANNOT BE OVERSTATED.
The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church dedicates one of its first chapters to the institution of the family, described as “the vital cell of society,” explaining that due to its vital importance the family has priority over society and the state. “Every social model that intends to serve the good of man must not overlook the centrality and social responsibility of the family.” (No. 214, Compendium)
We have a huge responsibility as parents and grandparents to love our children, to establish in them values such as humility, kindness, honor, truth, respect and more. Whatever we teach to the children in our families will help–or hurt– them individually, and also, help or hurt the whole of society.
Deep down, I believe everyone gets that.