The Family Connection

During my meditations this week, it came to me to focus on a ‘word of the day’.  Like, for instance, one day it was the word ‘love’.   Another day it was ‘patience’.

Yesterday the word ‘family’ came to me.

So, I was to keep this word in my uppermost thoughts that day–which didn’t work out so well.

Meaning I forgot about it-mostly.


Although I did have an important conversation with one of my daughters late in the day–and then I remembered.  But, since I had been distracted most of that day with other things I decided that on the following day, which is today, I should give ‘family’ another try and mean it this time!

So, what does ‘family’ mean? Maybe family refers to your next of kin, your husband/wife, significant other, kids, womens group, church/spiritual group, friends, cousins, aunts, uncles, lovers, neighbors.  What some might refer to as the ‘family of man’.  Because, really, in the end, that’s what we all are–related on some, distant-or not so distant-level.

My idea was to listen to my family, be more attentive, giving, aware.  And, I think, for me this is a good idea.  Sometimes we can get overwhelmed by all the things we’re ‘thinking’ about and if we can simply focus on one idea it can help us be more grounded.  Maybe even more productive!

In 1955, a great book of photos titled The Family Of Man was heralded as “the greatest photographic exhibition of all time”- 503 pictures from 68 countries.  It was created by the great photographer, Edward Steichen for the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and it’s forward was by the equally great poet Carl Sandburg.  

The book was described as “a mirror of the essential oneness of mankind throughout the world. Photographs made in all parts of the world, of the gamut of life from birth to death.”  And, the New York Times once wrote  that it “symbolizes the universality of human emotions.”

We used to have a copy of this book around our house when I was growing up and I recall spending hours studying the photographs and finding it remarkable that–no matter how different–we all have so much in common.

It is still available through the MOMA bookstore, and on Amazon in paperback.  I highly recommend checking it out.  Meanwhile check out just a few of the wonderful photos contained therein.


Oh, and…just curious, what word are you focusing on today?  Leave me a comment below!


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