Family Matters

How to make the most of our most precious moments

Lupita Montoto

Lupita Montoto

When we think of our loved ones, we are transformed—our moods change. Visualizing the pleasant and intimate moments I share with the people I love renews me. It often takes me back to times long gone, whether from childhood or an unforgettable event.

As I came from a family of humble origins, I remember how much my parents used to sacrifice to provide us with our daily nourishment. My father, his skin burned by the sun’s rays, would work as a bricklayer seven days a week to provide for my mother and my five brothers and sisters. He would ask for his pay in advance, so when every pay period did arrive, he would be responsible for paying back what was owed, leaving very little leftover and once again having to ask for another advance. My mother prepared bread or tamales that we would sell to earn a little bit of money that would help with whatever necessity that arose. Yet both my parents always kept wide smiles before us, their children.

But those smiles are erased from the faces of many families—whether due to financial struggles, the loss of a loved one, or the separation of parents due to legal or immigration troubles or divorce.

Yet let us focus on living peacefully and within our family setting.

Let us enjoy our quality time, communication and closeness with our children, since these qualities are important when it comes to fostering our happiness: A happy person is more productive, regardless of where the daily routine might take him or her, or what occupation someone might devote himself or herself to.

Let’s ask ourselves: Does an environment of open communication exist within our families? How do you communicate with your loved ones? Is it through phone calls, emails, text messages or in person? Is this dialogue open enough to share joys and sorrows? How do your loved ones contribute to your personal happiness? And how committed are you in bringing happiness to your relatives?

There are more questions that I can think of, but what really matters is how we feel when we are close to our loved ones.

Let us augment that love within our families, as we prevent hatred and resentment between young and old, so as to avoid separation and tragedy.

Allow me to share some ideas that will help you maintain a tight family nucleus:

  • Get to know what your loved ones like.
  • Establish routines that allow you to spend quality time with them, such as going to church together.
  • Ask them about their day at school or work and try to become actively involved in their lives. Talk to them about their struggles and achievements.
  • Show love and respect for every member of your family.

Love can be transformational; it can achieve anything. But this can happen only if change occurs from within your family through strong values and principles, qualities that are present in every human being from his or her creation. These could very well be the most fundamental of reasons to achieve the much-desired family unity.

Lupita Montoto is co-founder of La Movida Radio and Voz Latina Spanish newspaper.

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