The 3 Types of Family
Many have told me that the greatest asset for Filipinos is their families. It is their source of strength, guidance and affection. Perhaps, I could agree with this to some extent, but not all Filipino families are alike. In addition, not all non-Filipino families are unadmirable as well. All families are unique but they share certain characteristics. This is the focus on this blogpost to differentiate the three types of families based on observable common qualities.
The family who wants to know you are doing well.
Simply, it is on the mind. They are more concerned of every individual's freedom and personal space, rather than collective family experience. Members would ask you if you are okay, but they will seldom give advice on how you would feel better, given they would give more emphasis on your own right to decide and to take responsibility. After knowing one is fine, the other family members no longer exert effort to dig deeper, getting only the superficial layer of situations, challenges and important events one is experiencing. As a result, some do not get the necessary emotional attachment and warmth within the family, that losing a member seems acceptable as part of reality rather than a genuine unpleasant loss.
The family who wants to ensure you are doing well.
This is about contribution, preparation and encouragement. This type of families aims all of its members will reach their full potential, such that they will do everything within their capacity and influence to provide the resources one member needs to succeed. The goal is more important than the process and journey towards the goal. In addition, they do not assume the passive role like observers, instead they contribute for one member to have it easier or less difficult in the future. However, this does not mean everyone are emotionally closely-attached with each other. This is because contributing does not automatically mean the intention to share both failures and positive outcomes thereafter. They will give the initial thrust but it is still one's respomsibility to endure all hardships on the process alone or with minimal help from other family members.
The family who wants to experience with you.
The ultimate quality of family is achieved when all members wanted to live and feel the same experiences with each other, whether those experiences are good or bad. This type of family will not just ask their members if they are fine, instead they will be with you during the finest period of your life. They will not just give you support, but they will be experience the same thing as you would, allowing them to provide the best support and highest quality of empathy to anyone. Because, this is the ideal type of family, nowadays it is very rare to find this kind. Perhaps, some families function on this level at a certain degree, but not always. Challenging and difficult but not impossible.
Lastly, no family is perfect. There are some families which are dysfunctional, non-functional and complicated. But matters most is that the existence of family is at least a reminder to everyone that there are people who we can turn to when we need help or guidance. They maybe not so affectionate, supportive or responsive, but one's life would never be complete and possible without our families.