6. Family balance: Family is the social unit that is based on marriage and bloodline relations. It is the first class of a person and the first base for one to develop abilities. Family balance—a harmonious state of family members living together.
Family functions: safety, breeding, good faith, order and teamwork. Family education is a prominent problem.
Family relations: principles governing relations between husband and wife, father and son, old and young, brothers and sisters, and affections are just like the administrative relations of a state.
As the Chinese saying goes that “family harmony leads to family prosperity”. Happiness helps increase the content of endorphin and the density of growth hormone in the human body, and strengthen the immunity. The members of a happy family not only all look refreshed, but also seldom get sick. Latest research has proven the magic effects of anticipation of happiness on people: reducing the adrenalin by 70% and the hydrocortisone by 39%, while increasing the endorphin by 27% and the growth hormone by 87%, which will greatly augment people’s immunity from diseases. It may be concluded that people control 60% of the initiatives regarding good health, and nearly 100% regarding family balance.
Though “opinions differ from person to person”, our suggestions on how to keep family balance are as follows:
1、Everyone helps maintain the family, cultivates his or her moral character and plays his or her duty. All family members, old or young, play their roles well and attain qualifications they are expected to have.
2、Everyone in the family is equal despite their ages, but the respect for seniority is a must. They respect the old and cherish the young, the father is kind to children and the children practice filial piety to the parents, the brothers are friendly to each other, and the husband and the wife treat each other with respect.
3、Both affections and principles should be observed. Though it is quite natural that family members love each other, love without principle will lead to destruction.
4、Family harmony and diligence and thrift in running a household are encouraged. Food, clothing, housing and utensils do not have to be very good, the key is the ease of mind and good atmosphere.
5、The project of vital and lasting importance is to breed the young generation well. Family prosperity relies on educating the young from childhood. My specific suggestions are:
a. Extend the stemma. Stemma is a scroll recording the genealogy of a family and the stories of key members. It reminds the whole family of their traditions and to learn from the successes and failures of their ancestors.
b. Set family rules. As a country has its state laws, a family also needs family rules. Nothing can be accomplished without norms or standards. A family must set rules if it wants to prosper.
c. Foster family traditions. Family traditions are a reflection of the refined performances of family members in the long run. Families with good traditions will gain respect of the neighbors and the public. It is an “important” matter to keep the kitchen and the toilet clean and tidy all year round, and personal affairs as well.
d. Don’t show off one’s own contributions to the family. Whatever contributions one has made to the family, he should never feel being a cut above others, as it is his obligation to contribute. Everyone has his strong or weak points, and plays the role that no others could replace, so as long as one has tried his best, it doesn’t matter how much his contribution is. The attempt to put the contributions in order may result not in an order expected, but in harming the friendly feelings.
It takes a hundred years to bring up a generation of able men, so the education should start from the childhood. The ancient saying of “an observation of a three-year-old can tell his performance when he grows up and that of a seven-year-old can tell his performance when he gets old” has been proved by psychology to be scientific, rather than blind faith.
At the age of three, though the kid doesn’t have much knowledge and some even don’t speak fluently, he knows well how to “match wits” with the adults. Counting on the adults’ love to him, he would “cry and act violently” to get his desires satisfied. The kid only plays two simple tricks before making his parents, especially his grandparents, obedient.
However, as he grows, his “sense of satisfaction” also grows and his desires keep expanding: the root of trouble is planted. When he grows into an adult and if any of his desires is not satisfied, he will naturally recall his past “sense of satisfaction” and make contrast with present situation, and feel sad and intolerable. When he realizes there is no possibility that his desire be met, problems will arise—revenge and violence….
So, it is important to let the kid experience setbacks before three and make him understand that wishes are not always satisfied. The adults also should control themselves and should not always satisfy the kid only because his wishes are small and easy to do, otherwise the kid will be spoilt and the trouble is sowed, and in the end, both the kid and the adult will suffer with regrets.
The adults can judge the future of a kid by his conducts at the age of seven. That is to say, the shortcomings of a kid developed before three can be easily corrected before he grows to seven, which will save the parents from a lot of worries after the kid goes to school at seven, or they will take pains in taking care of him for decades to come.
In short, a family is like a small country. Family balance is very important as it is the foundation for social stability. Family education is a cardinal task that affects the stability and prosperity of the family, the clan and the nation as a whole. The East and the West each has its own strong points regarding family education, and the East should learn from the strong points of the West while keeping its fine traditions.