Why Bother to Nurture the Tie That Binds?
Mom always told me that if I could not get along with my siblings, I’d have an especially hard time getting along with anybody else. Whenever I complained to her about one of my brothers or sisters, she told me, “Learning to get along with people starts at home.” For a long time, though, I doubted her words. Surely, there were nicer and more normal people out in the world than my siblings. But the older I got, the more her words rang true.
More Than Just Tolerating
Growing up, I mostly learned to stay out of the way in order to survive life at home with three brothers and three sisters. Arguments between sisters were to be avoided as were the wrestling matches between my brothers. When I evaded any shameful scoldings from either Mom or Dad by simply obeying them, my siblings accused me of being the adopted one. Compliance was not an ordinary character trait among the rest of them.
Eventually though, we all grew up and went our separate ways. Some went far away to pursue college, careers and start their own families, while others stayed in closer proximity to one another.
Then, two years ago, when the world shut themselves away, one of my sisters hatched a plan; The Macek Maverick Calls. Her idea was to have a weekly family conference phone call that would last one hour. Each sibling would take a turn emailing everyone a question a few days ahead of the phone call. That question would become the topic of discussion during our conference call. Of course the questions varied depending on who was orchestrating the call.
(Diane) What was your favorite book as a kid (anytime during childhood)?
(Bruce) What is your favorite Grandma Weber & Grandpa Weber memory/story?
(Beth) What was your first injury? Do you remember the details?
(Cyn) Who is/was most instrumental in determining your work ethic?
(Paul) Have you ever participated in a protest march? If so, what was it?
(Mark) How best do you learn?
(Terese) What determines how you made your decisions?
These calls still take place, though now just twice a month. What happened as a result of our conversations is that I now get along better with all my siblings. Though Mom never told me how long it would take before I actually appreciated, valued and treasured my brothers and sisters, she was right. I’ve truly learned how to get along with them.
Why bother to nurture the tie that binds? You just never know when you might need to hear a familiar voice from the past, be told a story that makes you laugh or gain insight into an old memory. The ones who shared your life from the beginning are the ones who can do that for you, if you nurture the ties that connect you.