he family is the oldest institution ever established on earth. Before there were corporations, business organizations, governments, schools and other institutions, there was a family. We are taught that the family is the basic building block of society. The question is: is that true today? Is it true that today’s and tomorrow’s societies are being built on the family?
If that was the case, then it follows that important aspects of life such as purpose and vision must be generated and embraced at the family level. That is how we can build societies. You know, there is no bona fide institution on earth where purpose and vision can be taught and caught naturally. If you find somewhere else where purpose in life is being taught, it normally would be at a religious institution or even at a paid for seminar.
Yet, this was the prerogative of the family. Do not tell me that the purpose of parenting is to feed people to that level where they can now start feeding themselves and then feed others. The sole purpose of existence in life is not to eat and pay bills and expire and then faithfully take our next generation through the same drudgery. Neither is the purpose of life to look good, feel good and amass all the goods that we can while we are yet alive. All these things are useless in the end when we transition to the next life.
So to the degree that we trudge along in life and make sure that some basic needs are met, to that degree and even more should we strive to make sure that we are purpose driven as a family. [ictt-tweet-inline]The reason why many children are not purpose driven is because nobody taught them to be.[/ictt-tweet-inline]
A purpose driven family is one that has a vision and is on a mission to make this world a better place in one way or another. There are so many ills in society that we can right as families. Can you believe what would happen if hundreds of families around you had a compelling vision or purpose that they are pursuing to make the world a better place?
The dream for my family is to build as many libraries as we can in the rural areas in Kenya where children do not have access to them.
Imagine if another family had a vision in the education sector to build classrooms or dormitories or laboratories and so on…that his when we can truly say that the family is the basic building block of society.
I do not think that society is built just by getting pregnant and giving birth. I think that society is built when each person that is born gets to identify their God-given purpose and pursue it to the betterment of society.
But you will note that this does not start anywhere else but at home. It is my responsibility as the man of the house to have a vision around which the whole family can rally.
If we will continue having families that are not strong on vision and purpose in life as an entity, we will continue having disillusioned young men and women every single day. We will continue raising selfish and self-centered people whose focus in life is not massive enough to help others and cause change in society. We will have less passionate people whose idea of life is less than their original estimation and potential.
We must and we need to bring purpose back to the family. I say this because in nearly all tribes and races around the world, education was at the family level at some point. The education that was provided in families was heavily conscious of the family values, and the continuity of the family dynasty across generations. Each member of the family was not just an individual—they had a role and a part to play and fit in as they contributed to the overall vision of the family. Why was this done? Well, largely it was so as to preserve and protect the family and guarantee its continuity.
We need to get back to the basics of life. We have made life so complicated and sophisticated. Automation is not the answer in life. Even Bill Gates said that if you apply the automation or technology to a wrong process, the end result will be totally wrong. Technology is an enabler and a helper. Money is a resource, and a servant to something greater than itself. The following, I believe are the ways in which we can start building purpose-driven families.
This is the prerogative of the man, the father of the house. Men, we need to talk. We cannot continue getting these beautiful people in our houses and we have no burning desire for anything other than football and food in our lives. A woman is a helper. If you are to get help, it means that you must be doing something! I think it is a serious under-estimation of the women folk to think that their sole purpose of “helping” is to cook, iron, and organize the house. If that was the case, God would not have given them the capacity to use both sides of the brain! All of us men are half-brained, but the woman is not! For what purpose is she both-brained? So she can help us with our grand vision and purpose.
In order to build a purpose oriented family, it is important that we make it a matter of premium importance to know the purpose for which God made us and put us where we are. You can get a clue of that from reading this article.
Purpose is the original intention for which you and I were created. Vision though is what we see when that purpose is fulfilled. Vision is normally greater than goals, and in most cases, it is a long term vision. In other words, you and I need to have documented on paper what it looks like 50 years from now. “But I cannot see 50 years from now”, you might be saying. Yes you can. The same way you can see your child graduating from a reputable University 10 years from now is the same way you can see your family serving society in the area of health 50 years from now. The problem is that we do not dream, thinking that we do not have resources to bring it forth.
Can we at least have it documented on paper and leave the other part of its fulfillment to God? If God wanted to do it through us, we must at least show Him the plan, or the desire in our hearts on paper!
Once you have this downloaded, it is then time to start talking about it with the rest of the members of the family. So as they grow up they know where the family is going. As they go to school, they know that they have the end in mind. This affects how the “show up” in life because vision has a compelling power!
This is done nearly in each family. “For us we…” are the words commonly spoken when people talk of their collective call or responsibility. Values are what will bind families together more than anything. In the US, one value that is espoused for their Military is “No man left behind”. That value alone has seen countless stories of valiantness because it has made them to rally around a common passionate objective. Values are emotional standards that are attached to what we are passionate about. I would want my family for example to operate under the values of compassion, and seeing each human as important in the overall purpose of God. That value dictates the way we treat other people around us. Believe me, there is no way a vision or purpose will be made to happen without the injection of virtues are values. Values resonate to our hearts on what really matters to us.
I think one of the sorriest things you will ever see in life is a total disconnect between the plans that parents have and what the children see. For the most part, children just see life unraveling before them. They have not been made privy of what and why changes are taking place. You move to a new house and you do not inform them. You purchase land and you do not tell them. You make business transactions and they are not aware. I think as far as the vision of the family is concerned, it is important that children and by extension, all the members of the family are notified and included in the planning sessions if there are any. Nothing secures their future than this act. Man naturally wants safety, and that is why we are talking about job security every now and then. Children can be very disillusioned in life if this “security” is not provided for them. However, let their growing include this aspect of scratching their heads looking for solutions together with their parents.
Nothing makes it clearer than taking action on our purpose as a family. If for example our purpose is to help as many people as possible, the idea would be not to do it as companies do. Many corporate companies announce their corporate social responsibility causes for all and sundry to see. You can almost see that this is an “appendage” to their original cause. They are using it to gain clout and notoriety. Not so with family vision. If we are helping the under-privileged to go to school, all members are involved in raising the cash and resources needed and they are involved in the actual delivery of the “promise”. This should be repeated over and over and in each case, vision and purpose should be explained to the young generation.
Above all, I believe that we must be seriously intentional about this. We will not have a family of virtues, values and purpose if we are not intentional about it. Let’s do it now!