Choose to be Wise than Prudent

I sometimes feel like our family is a little crazy. Seriously! Sometimes the whole house is full of music and dancing at every corner you turn to. And the next day, nobody has time to talk. Everybody takes his/her corner with a book or laptop and the house feels like nobody is living in it. And another time, humor fills the house. Joke might not be a reason for us to laugh but action we see on the movie or one of us “funny way” of falling down the stairs. I know we find that to be very entertaining.

Do we fight? You better believe it! We do fight but I think we fight a GOOD fight!

Well, we give each other a chance to speak and to be heard. We know that somebody has to win the argument because two ideas can’t be right at the same time.

And nobody holds grudges against anyone (Ephesians 4:32). Nobody! POUTING has no place in our family at all! We fight doesn’t mean we hate each other; doesn’t mean we have to get even next time; doesn’t mean the other person is there to hurt us and it doesn’t mean that we give one another the silent treatment. No, no, no! We shake the emotion off and we start laughing. POUTING has no place (Ephesians 4:26-27)!

Don’t think that we don’t hold each other accountable and responsible for our actions though. We do! But nobody gets angry against someone more than an hour or two. What is the point of being angry towards someone when your ideas and reasons are being heard and taken into consideration? No point!

The way we handle our “moments” are sure different. For example, I lock myself in the bathroom. You don’t want me to talk to you during that moment because what may come out of my mouth can kill you. So, everybody leaves me alone there, but nobody allows me to lock myself there for more than an hour. My little one will stop breathing.

Those three Bear cubs have never witnessed Mama Bear and Papa Bear being angry at each other to the point of not kissing and hugging. No, they have never seen that because Mama Bear and Papa Bear choose to take their marital issue to their private bedroom or out to the café shop and finish it there.

If argument breaks out among the family, we settle it with a vote. Yes, we believe in voting. One can’t just come and say, “Let’s go to Virginia Beach for vacation.” Are you serious? We are five and five of us have our own choices and preferences and most of the time our choices and preferences are five completely different things. So, you can’t just run-over someone’s choice and preference. That will create so much tension and stress to the family that nobody is willing to do that. So, we bring the idea to the table first and votes will be tallied. Any idea with three to two votes will win, with one exception: Papa Bear can veto a “bill” if he thinks it is not right for the whole family. No one can disagreement with that. The final say always rests with Papa Bear. Feelings and emotions are sometimes considered but not always!

We sometimes call a meeting. Well, let me confess, I usually call a meeting, mainly to complain about a behavior and to bring that to the attention of the head of the house, in front of every member of the household.

And, if you sit in one of our meetings only for ten minutes, it will become obvious to you that there are two parties in the Banko’s family; like Republican and Democrats parties; one party with three members and the other party with two members. I’m sure you know the members of those two parties.

Precious, those three musketeers know how to stand for each other. And when they turn to accuse us, we know how to protect each other from them.

They may say something like, “Mom didn’t remind me that she received the email from my teacher and I didn’t know that there was a set of homework I needed to finish before my morning class. That is why I didn’t get a good grade.”

Before Mama Bear say something to defend her side, Papa Bear will say something like, “She is doing her best to make your life better. It is your sole responsibility to come and ask your mom if there is any email from your teacher.”

“Every day?”

“Yes, every day!”

After the meeting is over, my Berhan comes to me, when we are all alone, and say something like, “Did you really forget to tell them about the email? Maybe it is good to set your alarm whenever you receive email so that you will remember to tell them later on. What do you think?”

He won’t say that during the meeting. Are you crazy? If he does, those three musketeers will toast me and I won’t be a happy camper. No, no, he won’t do that to me. He will defend me and fight for me. He calls them to be responsible while he saves me from being sent on a guilt trip. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate him.

What is the message in all these then? Two things only:

1. Fight a good fight! Don’t let pouting mark your marriage nor your family;
2. If you are married, always take your spouse’s side whether it be before your kids, families and/or friends NO MATTER WHAT!

We didn’t learn these two important life lessons at the first year of our marriage; rather through making lots of mistakes. I want to share this with you so that you will learn from us without making mistakes which may hurt you and yours.

Let me leave you with a beautiful saying I heard few months back. It goes like this:

“A prudent person profits from personal experience, a wise one from the experience of others.” Joseph Collins

It is good to be prudent but it is the best to be WISE! So, be wise and learn from others’ experience. ///