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Archive for the ‘Family & Friends’ Category

Ever want to be an adult and child all at the same time?  Then visit Walt Disney’s Downtown Disney!

No, this is not an advertisement.  It’s a testimony.  Downtown Disney has a Marketplace and Pleasure Island and fun than the law should allow.  There is every kind of food you can eat and under conditions that only someplace with the name Disney could provide.  It’s a delight for the heart and the eyes.  But, see just a little of the excitement I tried to capture in these few photos below.  After that, don’t live through my experience, go visit Downtown Disney for yourself!

Who was Eating Who in Jurassic Park

Run!!!! Oh, it's not really alive?

What are those people eating?

Grab your Food and let's make a quick get-away!

I'm a Sea Serpent made of how many Lego pieces?

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Twenty-nine years ago, Professor Elise Boulding (Professor Emerita of Sociology of Dartmouth College) opened his article entitled The Family as a Small Society with these words:

Our major challenge as human beings in the ninth decade of the twentieth century is to overcome widespread feelings of helplessness and despair over our apparent inability to have any effect on the social processes that grind on around us. We approach the second millennium of the Christian era overwhelmed with problems of scale and complexity, unsure of the survival of the species itself.

My answer to that challenge is to call attention to the oldest of human groupings, the familial group…

I use the term familial household to emphasize the fact that people who live together in households, whatever the arrangements, are in a familial relationship to one another. One reason the complexity is unrecordable is that each member of a household is growing and changing every minute. Each day each member has her own unique growth tasks and her own unique experiences in the world outside, returning to the household a different person in the evening than she was in the morning. Because family members live at close quarters and must share limited resources, including space and time, there has to be a continual negotiation process between each member and every other, a continual checking out of changed circumstances and preferences…

Prof. Boulding states that we run into problems in and with our family members when we don’t update our mental maps that guide our moving around within the family at all given times.

… In the family setting, we immediately get feedback about whether our actions are producing the results we intend. We get smiles, frowns, or shrugs; we get a hundred clues as to “how we are doing.” The possibility of immediate feedback from one’s actions characterizes all primary, or face-to-face, groups. It is what makes them so important to our existence as social beings; however, the familial household is a very special form of the primary group because in the long run it is one in which we spend the most time. We can manage the complexities of social interaction on the human scale because we get a constant stream of messages about the consequences of our acts. We can dare to experiment, try out new skills, new roles, knowing that we will soon find out if our experiment has worked. Our family will tell us if we are making fools of ourselves!

I propose, therefore, that we use our experience of the family as a metaphor for society itself, thus giving us a handle on the problem of scale.

There are two things I find interesting here:

1 – I have paid attention to my thoughts, feelings and behavior when I am living with family and when I am living alone. There is truly a change in behavior, the processing of thoughts before speaking, etc and all of the items Prof. Boulding listed above. Whereas when I am living alone, the consequences of my actions within the home is limited to how much I may want to do or not do at any given time and no one to respond to the action or inaction.
2 – Viewing the function of the family in the context that Prof. Boulding relays makes every action, word, and deed performed within the space of the place called ‘home’ is at the least intriguing and at the most phenomenal. The roles of each individual is intricately woven in a dance with each and every other individual within the home. Therefore, there is no insignificant word, deed or action because they can (no matter how small) impact in some way the life of the other.
3 – Why don’t we extend this out into the larger world…looking at our neighborhoods, cities, and nations as extended family? Some families in the U.S. have the culture and custom of socially adopting non-related persons into their families. I grew up with a play-mama and play-sisters and brothers. We, now call that system of inclusion – extended family. In my family, this still goes on today. Both of my children have people who are of no blood relation to them who are part of our family. This is a good thing as my family is very small.

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