“All people have the potential to be better – some lack the desire to do better”…Jenn Wolsey
The information we gathered as children concerning Health, Finances, and Relationships which we stored as “Family Values” will determine the choices we make throughout our lives. Who and What We Fear is a Family Value.
One Saturday morning in early spring, my daughter, Jessi, called to ask if she and her husband could borrow some yard tools because they were going to “clean up” their yard and do some planting. Then she casually asked if I would like to come help them.
After we had “worked” for a couple hours in their yard, pulling out ivy, grass, and weeds, Jessica called her twin sister, Jenn to ask what her family was doing. The family was taking out ivy, cleaning beds, and tilling their yard.
Where did the family value of gardening start?
The story goes that my mother dug up sweet potatoes from her garden on the October day before I was born. I never heard my parents talk about gardening but every day when my Dad came home from work, he and my mother were outside working in the yard if the weather permitted.
Every child on Earth learns family values in their first five years. They become aware of what gets the attention of the people living around them and what they are talking about. Family Values are dependent upon where the family and caregiver’s actions place value.
Anthropologists use the term enculturation for the process of being socialized to a particular culture. We are enculturated to our specific culture by our parents and the other people who raise us.
This process is the described in detail by Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt, former Senior Policy Advisor in the U.S. Department of Education, in her book, The Deliberate Dumbing Down of American, who says, “If all children receive the same socialization, it is likely that they will share the same beliefs and expectations. This fact has been a strong motivation for national governments around the world to standardize education and make it compulsory for all children. Deciding what things will be taught and how they are taught is a powerful political tool for controlling people.”
“Family Values” are most often discussed in the setting of Politicians pushing their political agendas, Churches pushing their belief agendas or other organizations pushing their perception of morality with the intention of gaining support or financial benefits from their declared commitments. These groups play on the emotions of their followers by placing “blame” on their opposing party or group.
It is human nature to believe that our Family Values are right. Our relationship to everyone in the world is determined on our value and respect of other Human Beings. When we any other Human Being as being superior or inferior, we are exhibiting our family values.
There has been much written about birth order in a family and how it effects attitudes, personality and life decisions. The learned “family values” differ within family according to the value of the position of the child within the family structure…male vs. female…oldest vs. baby…smartest vs. athletic…non-conformist vs. submissive…loud vs. quiet…pretty vs. plain.
When we break the code of our family values and question the family “secrets” we are treated as traitors. Families maintain control over the behavior of their members in the same way institutions (schools, churches, governments, employers, etc.) maintain control by use of fear and threatening abandonment.
When my daughters were in elementary school in Southern California, they were studying Civil War History and discussing slavery as a cause for the war. A few minutes into the discussion it became very apparent that the girls were very limited in their knowledge so I asked to read their textbook which was also limited to slavery and abolition. After my complete explanation of the politics of war, greed, economics, civil rights of all human beings, slavery and poverty; one of my daughters said, “Mom, did your schoolbooks in Alabama say the South won the Civil War?”
During this same period of time, I was married to a wonderful man who had grown up near Allentown, Pennsylvania with very different Family Values. He jokingly referred to himself as rude, crude and socially unacceptable so we were very different in our outlook on health, finances and relationships.
One day when I was on the back patio reading the riot act to my daughters and stepdaughter about their inappropriate language, my husband was talking on the phone to his mother and told her that I was outback giving ‘Southern Lady Lessons’ to the girls.
Family Values are a learned habit of belief from the environment in which we grow up…nothing more or less. What we are teaching our kids will be their Family Values.
Love, Light & Lots of Laughter…Joa