The Family at Large

The world seems smaller because we can get to parts of it much more easily. Even compared to our grandparents, our ability to move to another country is a lot less complicated than it used to be. Globalization means that people can and do move away from the hometowns. This has widened our reach and allowed us to meet cultures and have experiences that were unthinkable two generations ago.

This has come at a cost. We may have gotten wings to span the world but at the cost of our roots. We are becoming disconnected with our family. Worse, we have started to undervalue the importance of family. Family is the best support structure we can have. The family is comprise of individuals who are predisposed to love you and encourage you and help you. What people have forgotten is that these relationships are not automatic. Like everything else, these relationships must be worked on and maintained.

Fifty years ago, if a young man and his wife left, say, Albany in New York and moved to Sydney, he was in effect, starting over. He will acknowledge that he has relatives back in the US but the chances of them meeting will be slim unless he can afford traveling the distance. At any rate, it will be visits that will happen rarely.

In our world now that is not quite the case. The cost of traveling has not necessarily become more affordable but the means of staying in touch has. News that could have taken a week or more would be received in a matter of seconds. Birthdays, anniversaries and other familial milestones can be acknowledged and celebrated much more easily. This does not replace actually sharing these milestones in person, but it does not diminish it either.

The easiest way to do this is to make a website devoted to the family. A free website where news can be exchanged and photographs and videos can be shared. This creates a touchstone where family members can stay in touch and maintain their relationships despite their distance from each other. Because news is received almost immediately, people don’t seem as remote.

It doesn’t even have to be a complicated affair, either. A free website builder can be downloaded and different family members can maintain the site so the responsibility and effort can be shared.

It’s important to tend to one’s roots. The family does not have to be left behind while we’re zooming across the world. We have the tools to keep up.