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The world needs strong families

Anoushka Kassam was third in the just concluded blog competition. She received a Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 courtesy of Lenovo.

The roots of our nation rely heavily on the firm foundation stone of strong families in society. In our past, we’ve seen individuals unite as a family; and families come together to form clans, tribes and communities. It is within these stable homes where children are raised to continue this tradition. From one strong family comes another, and another, and another.

The continuation of cultures, the passing down of possessions and the preservation of traditions are but a few of the things that occur through the passing of generations in a family. Parents play a crucial role in these affairs. It is important that parents live by example as they have a large influence on their children’s likes and dislikes, their habits and behavior and, most importantly, their values. As the teachings of St. Josemaria Escriva explain, parents are the pillars of every family. It is the role of parents to teach and guide their children. They should teach their children about ethics, morality and, most importantly, faith. He says, the introduction of God and the life of piety bring warmth into a home and a strong faith makes for a strong family.

But what exactly defines a strong family? I turned to the people around me to find out what a strong family meant to them. I thought I would get descriptions surrounding the idea of blood relations, but I was wrong. Instead, they used an array of adjectives to describe their version of a strong family including; togetherness, love, harmony, bonding, support, quality times, spiritual strength and trust. I quickly noticed that many of them didn’t equate a strong family to the traditional definition – two parents, two children, happy…etc. But rather to the concept of love, care and belonging.

This broadened my perspective on the boundaries set on who and what can be considered ‘family’; which leads me to create my own definition. My definition of family is simple. Family to me refers to people who you can count on for the array of traits mentioned above. The healthier the relationships and the more powerful the bonds, the stronger the family. I now see that family doesn’t only refer to the people you are related to but also includes your friends and other loved ones who surround and support you.

Finally, to wrap up, I think it is important to focus on how we can assure that our future generations build strong families. Families are rarely smooth sailing but rather are better equated to a crazy rollercoaster. Because of this, families are prone to disputes and clashes, but following some of the 15 leadership lessons from St. Josemaria Escriva can help maintain the peace in every family. For example, he places importance on always caring for each other, embracing sacrifice, paying attention to the little things, staying humble and praying boldly. Keeping these in mind can ensure that our families now, and in the future, stay strong; and that the family environment is one that builds a culture of love and support. These strong families will lead to a strong society which is why, at the end of the day, the world needs strong families.

Link to St. Josemaria’s Teachings:

Guzman, S. (2015, March 09). 15 Leadership Lessons from St. Josemaria Escriva. Retreived September 1, 2018, from https://www.catholicgentleman.net/2014/08/15-leadership-lessons-from-st-josemaria-escriva/

Teaching the Faith in the Family: Guidelines from St. Josemaria Escriva. (2016, July 21). Retreived September 1, 2018, from https://stjosemaria.org/teaching-the-faith-in-the-family-guidelines-from-st-josemaria-escriva/

The article was written by Anoushka Hanif Kassam a third year at Strathmore University Business School.

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