The Family of Nations

The family of nations is a phrase often used, but ignored in its essential usefulness. We use it as a parallel pretense to our cultural “agreement” that families are functional social units. A brief look inward combined with a neighborly glance around tells us clearly that is not as true as we would like it to be.
So some of us decide to go into “Family Therapy” and learn a very important lesson about who we are in relationship. We learn that despite our desperate need to get everyone to just change their behavior to fit our desires, they simply won’t do it.They won’t do it in response to our demands, threats, pleas, or bargains. They won’t do it, not because they are mean spirited, or trying to make our life miserable. They won’t do it because that’s not how us human being work.
We learn, if we are lucky, that the only behavior we have any control over is our own. But that is enough, because our behavior can be leveraged to make things different.
The essence of “relationship” is exactly what the word means.
We are in this together. If I think we are on a swing, and you think we are on a see-saw no amount of argument from those positions will make any sense. So we have to begin the problem resolution by recognizing where each of us is.
Now, here is the tricky part. In order for that to happen I can’t insist that WE do it. I can only begin to do it on my own. That change in my behavior will illicit some change in yours. Your response may initially be suspicious, or wary, or even hostile. But If I persist despite the time it takes, you will shift, and you will begin to relate to me in the same way, and we will begin to enjoy that change.
Thus I suggest that all our politicians and foreign affairs experts go into family therapy so they can learn the techniques of changing their own behavior in order to stop beating up each other, and the other countries and cultures of the world.

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