Family Narratives

Histories can build strength. In an essay "The Stories That Bind Us" Bruce Feiler suggests three "family narratives:

First, the ascending family narrative: "Son, when we came to this country, we had nothing. Our family worked. We opened a store. Your grandfather went to high school. Your father went to college. And now you. ..."

Second is the descending narrative: "Sweetheart, we used to have it all. Then we lost everything."

The most healthful narrative ... is the third one. It's called the oscillating family narrative: "Dear, let me tell you, we've had ups and downs in our family. We built a family business. Your grandfather was a pillar of the community. Your mother was on the board of the hospital. But we also had setbacks. You had an uncle who was once arrested. We had a house burn down. Your father lost a job. But no matter what happened, we always stuck together as a family."

Feiler says that psychologists have found positive family traditions, especially involving shared recovery from hard times, help people be more resilient and happy. Ditto for office departments, military units, and other groups. Hmmmm ...

(cf Optimist Creed (1999-04-16), ...) - ^z - 2018-06-15