Build a Strong Home That Won’t Collapse Even by a Strong Wind
— In order to build a home, materials are needed. Love, trust, respect, conversation, and giving thanks are good materials for building a strong home.
A home where the family members are united in love and trust is the strongest one that is able to stand against any strong wind.
Though a man lives in wealth and honor, what good is his wealth if he doesn’t have his loving family? Even though he may succeed in society, if he doesn’t take care of his family and get acknowledged by them, he won’t be truly happy. On the other hand, even though everybody in the world criticizes him, if he has his family who trusts and encourages him, he can surely stand right back up thanks to his family that supports him like a strong pivot.
There is an old Korean saying, “When one’s home is happy, all goes well.” This applies not only to the old ages, but also to this age. Many Korean families have this saying as their family motto, but many of them don’t know what they need to put into practice in order to create a harmonious and strong family, and so they are still lonely though they have their families with them, and some families are breaking apart.
An enterprise invited public participation to filling in the blanks: “Family is ( ).” More than 100,000 people submitted their opinions to this event, and their answers were, “Family is clothespins that hold clothes in the wind,” “Family is the four elementary arithmetic operations because it adds happiness, subtracts sadness, multiplies future, and divides hardships,” “Family is an iron that makes what was wrinkled straight,” “Family is a bus handle that we can hold on the rough path of life,” and so on. Most answers contained positive messages such as hope, love, happiness, and strength. In many cases, brutal prisoners had not received enough love from their families while growing up, but they say they also think of a warm resting place when it comes to family.
However, a family isn’t always full of love and happiness, and it doesn’t always give hope. Some husbands make their wives do parenting and housework all by themselves and give no help, and some wives break the spirits of their husbands when they lose their jobs. Some parents try to control their children as their belongings, and some children look down on their parents. Sometimes, they hurt each other’s feelings, frustrate others, and give a heavy burden. Some even wish to have no family. These days, more families break down for trivial matters, and even nuclear families are splitting. Many side effects are taking place as the number of senior citizens living alone or the number of single households is increasing explosively.
What is the reason for families to end miserably though they started with blessings? It is because they do not make enough effort though they dream of an ideal family. Nothing can be gained without effort. More importantly, nothing can be done just by one person’s sacrifice or effort.
Materials to build a strong home
1. Foundation: love
When building a home, the most basic and important stage is laying the foundation. If the foundation is not strong, even a home which a great effort was put into will collapse easily. The most basic requisite for a stable home is love, and a home whose foundation has been built firmly with love won’t collapse easily.
Love does not require any price or condition. If you love someone for his certain behavior or achievement, you cannot express sincere love toward him and you will worry that he might fail to satisfy the condition. Acknowledge your family members, accept them as they are, and help them to display their hidden abilities.
2. Pillar: trust
Just as pillars support a house, trust supports a home. Love cannot exist between husband and wife who don’t trust each other, or between parent and child whose trust is broken; because they cannot depend on each other for anything. A person acts the way others trust him. When things don’t go the way he wants, or when he’s having a hard time, what can give more strength than the fact that he has his family who trusts him?
It is important to trust, but what is more important is to give trust. Trust can be built up as one’s attitudes towards others are piled up in his daily life. The most definite way to give trust is to act up to one’s words. If someone’s actions and words do not match, even the family members will not trust him.
3. Door: respect
Respect is like a door. Just as people go in and out of the house through doors, family members need to respect each other to share feelings and understand each other. If a person doesn’t respect others but thinks they have to act the way he wants, then he tries to control them, asking for their obedience; and when they fail to satisfy him, he will get angry and disappointed. That is why some parents feel disappointed and say to their children, “Do you know how hard I worked to raise you?” or a husband or a wife says, “He/She lives under my thumb,” or “I live under his/her thumb.”
When you listen to others’ opinions and show interest in the things they value, that is a clear message that you respect them.
4. Window: conversation
Imagine a house with no windows. Wouldn’t it be stuffy? A family without conversation is like a house without a window. Just as windows are necessary to communicate with the outside, conversations are essential for communication among family members. The importance of a conversation cannot be emphasized enough. There is nothing we cannot solve through a conversation. Someone said that a conversation with a family member is like looking at the world in that person’s shoes. There is no better way than being in that person’s position.
TVs and smart phones are the biggest enemy that cuts off conversations among family members. It is a big misunderstanding if you think that you can have a sense of unity by watching TV together. Try to reduce the time of watching TV or using smart phones, and open your eyes and ears to your family.
5. Roof: giving thanks
The roof lies on top of a house. It blocks snow, rain, sunlight, and wind, and it makes the house cozy. Even if a house looks magnificent, without a roof, you cannot live there properly. Thankfulness is like a roof that covers everybody’s fault and makes a family livelier. When family members express their gratitude more to each other, they feel happy. On the contrary, when they are full of complaints, they will soon be ruined without being protected from hardships just as water leaks and wind sweeps at a house without a roof.
“Even the strong winter storm is not as cold as the heart of a person who is not thankful,” said Shakespeare. A warm family filled with continuous thanks is a strong family.
When a strong home proves its real worth
There is no family without a problem. Having less family members doesn’t mean that there is less worries and conflicts. What is important is how to overcome them. Some families easily reel under some hardships or unfortunate situations, and some other families easily overcome any kind of hardships. If all the family members realize that they are fortunate to have a family and try to overcome things together, they can wisely overcome crises, and it can be a turning point to make a happy family.
Just as a strong house proves its real worth when there is a strong wind, a strong home proves its real worth when there is a hardship. Do not be worried or discouraged when you face conflicts or problems among family members. It is a chance to love your family all the more.
A father challenged Ironman Triathlon to make the dream of his son, who cannot move or speak, come true. He swam 3.9 km (2.4 miles), pulling an inflatable boat with his son on it, rode a bike for 180 km (112 miles), and ran a full course of marathon of 42.195 km (26.219 miles). He didn’t do it just once, but six times. The son says that he’d never have been able to do that without his father, but his father tells his son, “Son, without you, I wouldn’t have done it.”
Through this, we can fathom how great a family’s power can be. “He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home,” said Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Why don’t all of your family members build together a strong home that will never collapse even before strong winds, with good materials? If you do, happiness will bloom.