Become the Butterfly. It’s Worth It.

Last time I talked about how a butterfly comes into being. How does this relate to building a legacy family?

A legacy family must decide to take on the “struggle” of becoming who they are in order to have the best chance for success. Families must decide to tackle the question of what they are about, their purpose and mission in being a family. They must come together and discover their unique and common values, build the communication based on trust that allows them to flourish.

Legacy families must commit to their own success and define what that is so they can move it forward intentionally and actively. Doing this is like the struggle the butterfly has in coming out of its cocoon.

When a family does not define their purpose they risk becoming a breeding place for apathy, distancing, and distrust to build. This can create havoc in a family as individual agendas vie for an individual share rather than an integrated community.  When a family does not struggle to become its own defined body, they run the high risk of becoming what various cultures around the world have called  “shirt sleeves to shirtsleeves, clogs to clogs, barn to stars to barn, rice paddy to rice paddy” in three generations.

Most families have not taken on the struggle to last. The results show up as fractionalized families, young adults adrift, disconnected marriages, and unsatisfying communication. Most families have become superficial in a world yearning for depth and meaning.

My grandfather would have been in line to build a strong connected family if the advisors, physical systems, support systems and tools were available like they are today.  When my grandfather suddenly died and his wife sold the business to his brother, the help wasn’t around to guide her family in staying connected to the richness of the family culture and significant meaning. So, within two generations what is left are the physical remnants of a rich heritage, no longer the ties to what people stood for, what it meant for them to go through their challenges and accomplishments. A hollow shell exists where richness lived.   

If you are a family who feels that they are in a caterpillar or cocoon stage, take a look at the systems, tools, activities, events and advisors that can benefit you to become a sustainable and connected family for generations.  Struggle to become the family that can sustain itself. Become a butterfly. It’s worth it.

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