Families Divided by Politics
Though I am quite vocal on my views with my relatives, friends and on my personal social media, such as Facebook, I refrain from my personal views on my two organizational ventures, Embrace Our Heritage and Quality Communications & Training--unless it affects the mission of either or both of these endeavors.
I heard that a 44 year old mother has refused to allow her mother to see her children because the grandmother supports Donald Trump. The mother believes Trump is racist and her mother must be racist if she supports Trump. Sadly, politics seemed to have triump over family.
There have been other families battling over politics, especially this year with two unlikable candidates, sometimes, regretfully, with disastrous results. Are you in similar scenarios?
Our mission at Embrace Our Heritage is to provide means to reunite the family unit and at Quality Communications & Training, our purpose is to strive for peaceful solutions through quality communications.
Fortunately, my wife, most of her relatives, most of my relatives and our own family are common political views; however, both my wife and I have, what we call, the black sheep in our families with opposing views on politics.
Yet, we believe family is first and foremost. My wife and I generally visit her cousins for Thanksgiving, and sure enough, we may get into a political debate. We may shout and get angry with our lone black sheep, but at the end of the day, after having given thanks for our blessings, especially for the family, we hug each other, after which we return to our homes. Family always triumps over politics in my wife's family.
I am always grateful that many of my relatives on my father's Sicilian side of the family are in agreement with my political views, though we do have 3 or 4 black sheep to contend with. Since most of my family is scattered, we use email and Facebook to communicate our frustrations with those opposed to our political views. Occasionally, I'll return to my homtown of Tampa and get together with my brother and cousins. Though Sicilians have a tradition of disowning close family members, we do place La Famigiia (the family) first, above all else. Having Sicilian blood, we may be more vocal, and of course, use plenty of hand gestures, but at the end of the day, we will finish our Cafe con Leche (Spanish for coffee and milk) and leave peacefully.
On my mother's side of the family, I'm only in contact with a handfull of relatives after many years of absence. I finally connected to two of my first cousins via Facebook after nearly 50 years--a half century. The older cousin passed away a few months ago. Politically, I believe he was more to my way of thinking; however, his brother and I have totally opposite views of politics. We will post or comment on our own Facebook pages, yet we are civil in our exchanges. And occasionally, we agree with each other. We both believe family comes first.
Interestingly, my cousin recently commented the following on one of my Facebook postings, "I believe I agree with you again. But it going to take both parties to work together. What'd they haven't done for years."
And that's what we need to do within La Famiglia. Whether global or personal, in striving for peace, we must first accept our differences and then begin to communicate effectively with one another. This will lead to better understanding, resulting in peaceful solutions.
As for the real example above, just the fact that the grandmother is a racist because she supports Trump is very likely not the root cause for the mother restricting her mother from seeing her children. The mother and grandmother need to sit down and determine the underlying cause(s) for the friction between the grandmother and her daughter.
Have you been or are you in a similar situation? If you had a similar situation, how did you smooth out the friction? If you are in a similar situation, are you willing to resolve the underlying issues? Regardless of any issues, we all need to do our very best to keep the family intact.
Frank S. Adamo is a writer and blogger. He is also the founder of Embrace Our Heritage, an organization dedicated to reuniting families through family stories, modern technology, and support. Frank also assists others to create Living Legacies for their loved ones and their future generations. To download a free e-book, click How do Leave a Legacy. Click Subscribe to subscribe to Frank's newsletters/blogs.