23 October 2009

Choosing to live in a circle rather than a box

As seen in the Battleford's Regional Optimist

I recently attended a conference for Marriage and Family Therapists in Saskatoon. I truly enjoyed my time. I love being able to network and meet new people. However, I love learning new things. So let me ask you, do you live in a box or a circle?
I would say I live in a box because I live in a house. But that’s not what I am talking about. What I am talking about is a system. Let me explain a little about each.
A circle system is a bunch of rings. Think of it as giant family campfire. In the centre is the creator, who ever that may be for you. The children are the first ring around the creator, women are second, who all support the children. Next are the men who are supporting the women in their work. The third ring is the elderly, providing wisdom and knowledge to those inside the circle. The fourth ring contains leaders of all sorts, political or spiritual, and also warriors or military.
I hope you can see this circle and how everyone is involved in supporting everyone, and how the children are the focus.
Now let’s move to a box system. Simply, imagine a school bus. Throw the children in the back seats. Place the women in the middle, and the men at the front. Notice how everyone is sitting in their seats facing forward. Everyone has their own spots and no one is to move or touch.
The box focuses on money, looking good, judging others, and asks the question ‘what is wrong?’ The most important part is to move the bus forward ignoring everything else, including the children in the back.
The circle asks what is true. It accepts, evaluates, and takes action. There is always a seeking to be in balance and in harmony with everyone in the circle. Everyone has value in the circle.
Does mom or dad drive to work every day ignoring the kids in the back?
Do you, as a parent, ask what is wrong with my child? Or do you ask what is my child doing well?
Are your children your focus? Or is it getting the next promotion?
When was the last time you spoke to your elders? Do you value them and their wisdom? Or are you sitting in the bus, just going forward?
Do you support your spouse? Or do they have their own set role which you think they can do on their own?
It is so easy to miss things when children are behind us. However, it is easier to see what is happening when they are in front of you.
In the circle there is love, caring, and nurturing.
Your family is what matters most. Let them know that you support them, and that they are not being brushed aside.
So I ask again, are you living in a box or a circle?