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Lesson 8 - The Family - Building Block

Guest Author - Sadiyya Patel

Dr. Mary Pipher, a therapist and anthropologist, says that the family is still an essential unit of the community. When people get married, their hopes are linked to building a home and family.

Dr. Pipher maintains that families are ancient institutions. She said that ever since humans crossed the savannas in search of food, our families have been unique. Homo sapiens needs families to survive, and bravo to those millions of parents who are trying hard to do the right thing.

Happily married people understand this very basic concept. It is not just their own nucleus that needs caring, but the entire institution of marriage and the social unit known as a family.

When marriages flourish, so do families, and as a result, communities all over the world also flourish. That is how societies become stronger and progressive. When the smallest unit survives, the larger ones survive.


“I write about families because I love them. When I travel alone far from home, I think of my children’s faces to calm myself down. I picture them smiling, studying, playing violin or volleyball. I picture my husband’s face bent over his guitar or relaxed and fresh, the way it is on the mornings when we drink coffee together on the front porch. Those faces are my mandalas. They comfort and secure me. The faces of those we love are the first, the primal, mandalas for us all.” Doctor Mary Pipher from The Shelter of Each Other



These are the sentiments that happily married people nurture and sustain in their hearts. If they focused on their mandalas instead of on their frustrations and unfulfilled desires, these are the people who have shown an incredible willingness of reaching out, of seeing past their own egos.


(Marriage is not the extension of the romance junkie phase. It is equivalent to a long term commitment that emotionally intelligent husbands and wives understand fully.

They know, deep in their hearts, that love and passion will not always be on the daily agenda, and may diminish as the responsibilities of their marriage take them to the next level – family life.

To conclude this lesson, here is a statement extracted from the book,Anatomy of Love: A Natural History of Mating, Marriage, and Why We Stray by Helen E. Fisher:


“When Darwin used the term survival of the fittest, he was not referring to your good looks or your bank account; he was counting your children. If you raise babies that have babies, you are what nature calls fit. You have passed your genes to the next generation and in terms of survival you have won…only in tandem can either men or women reproduce and pass on the beat of life.”


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Content copyright © 2014 by Sadiyya Patel. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Sadiyya Patel. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Lori Phillips for details.

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