Updated: Dec 22, 2018
In tough times family care extends across genetic and generational boundaries.
Families face more challenges every day under the pressure of a changing economy, a failing social net and the divisive politics of inclusion that fuel phobic and hateful behavior all around us. Like medieval lords the top 10% can insulate themselves with private schools and hospitals, gated and guarded communities, lawyers and financial advisors, in order to keep the traditional family line intact and wealth passed from generation to generation.
For the rest of us, some are rediscovering a modern version of an ancient survival trait where family boundaries spanned across entire clans or tribes in order to ensure a family could still prevail under the harshest of circumstance. A child who lost a birth parent would naturally continue to be cared for by the no boundary family irrespective of genetics. The no boundary family pooled food and resources and were a common defense against the many immediate hazards and dangers that meant life or death on a day to day basis.
Sound familiar? For all those ancient harsh physical demands for survival, substitute sub living wage jobs, unaffordable housing, non-existent or exorbitant child or elder care resources ... the list goes on. What emerges is the modern version of the no boundary family. Who is this family? It's people who love and respect each other coming together sometimes under the same roof, sometimes under many roofs, but still together with a common purpose. A purpose to care for family members in need and provide a safe and loving environment for all, as best possible under often tough circumstances.
A no boundary caring family is a beautiful thing that sometimes rises from the ashes of the darkest moment or traumatic times. A no boundary family of children, single and joint parents, cousins, aunts and uncles, grandparents, grand and even great grandchildren across births and adoptions from different genetic family trees. An unfortunate fact is that the no boundary caring family is often resented and attacked by angry or phobic people, often the very people the family is protecting itself from. The need for legal counsel is essential and may be the biggest difference between the ancient and modern no boundaries family.
One can only hope and pray the legal system will rule in favor of legitimate and loving no boundaries families rather then fragmenting them apart. "The system" is still stuck with many outmoded models and precedents of what "is best" for the family especially when it comes to children, people with mental illness, the elderly and others who are vulnerable.
But that hypothetical case should not be a barrier to embrace the no-boundary caring family. In most cases heartfelt care and love will prevail!
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