The holiday season brings families together, if not always in person, certainly in our hearts and their thoughts. It’s a time in which families should put their differences aside and remember how much they mean to one another.
While some families are small, the reality is that our families extend farther than we think. We’ve all heard the phrase; it takes a village to raise a child. Well, it also takes a village to run a business or to even get by in life. It you think about it, families are comprised by the people you care about, and can include business partners, employees, customers, spiritual leaders, members of clubs or associations, neighbors, and people with whom you’ve shared experiences or accomplishments. Then, of course, there are your friends, with whom you share beliefs and with whom you feel aligned. These are all people that touch your life in some manner. This is your village and, very often, your extended-extended family. Remember, family can be more than just blood relatives. Being a business owner, as I’ve mentioned in earlier blogs, I think of my employees, my customers and my friends as part of my family, along with my business partner, Gabriel, who just happens to be my brother.
What I find so interesting, and somewhat distressing, is that so many people only find the time to appreciate their families during holidays. We give thanks for one another at the Thanksgiving dinner table and treat each other differently until New Years Day. Then so many of us simply stash the feelings away and take our family members for granted until the next holiday comes along.
The truth is, we need members of our extended family around us all year long. To quote the Baltimore Jewish Federation, “Alone we can’t do many things, but together we can do anything.” It’s so true, think of how many businesses were started by at least a two people, if not more, working together. Some were literally family members, while others were as close as family members. For example, Sam, Jack, Albert and Harry Warner started Warner Brothers Motion Pictures together, Childhood friends Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield founded Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, and Sandra Lerner, along with her then-husband Lenard Bosack, started Cisco. There are thousands of such examples. Yes, we can do a lot by working together.
So, if it is only on the holidays that you come together as a family, perhaps we need to create a few more holidays and add them to the calendar. On the TV hit sitcom “Seinfeld,” George Costanza’s father created Festivus, “a holiday for the rest of us.” In fact, if you can’t come up with your own holidays, you could treat every day as a holiday. Let the people in your village know that you care about them, and together maybe you will be able to do anything.
Have a great holiday season –