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Monday, December 21, 2009

Family - Part 1

    How does one "conceive" a child? Where does it begin? Life begins with a thought, with a need, most of the time with a plan, and ultimately with action. Babies are not born by accident. Families begin with a husband and a wife, the marriage union is the beginning of the family unit. Some people would say that "it is not a family until there are children involved." "Children are a gift from God," at least according to the Holy writ, the Word of God. The family is where children start, where they grow, how they learn concepts, where they are nourished, where they are nurtured, where they are "reared" and family is many units with many connections, yet one. With children, it has oft been said "more is caught, than taught."
    There are numerous types of "families" and not all of them are human. There are families of instruments, there are families or schools of thought, plant families, animal families, there are good and bad families, but what constitutes a "family?" According to Merriam Webster a family is defined as (1) "a group of individuals living under one roof," (2) "a group of persons of common ancestry (clan),(3) "a group of things having common characteristics."
    In music, there are several different families: the string family, this includes all instruments with strings. This would include instruments like the guitar, the harp, violins, violas, cellos, Double Bass, Banjos, Mandolins, etc,   There is a large group of Instruments called the Wind Family, a it is divided into other family units called "Brass" and "Woodwinds". Under the Brass family is any instrument that uses a cup mouthpiece and the sound is made by buzzing the lips. The brass family includes such instruments as the trumpet, shofar, cornet, flugelhorn, french horn (or Horn), trombone, sackbut, Euphonium, Saxhorns, Tuba family, and others. Each family has certain characteristics that define the unit. The Woodwinds would include such instruments as the clarinet family, the saxophone family, the double reed family, and anything else that takes breath to make sound.  There is another large family called "Percussion" which means to strike. In this family are instruments like the Piano, the marimba, xylophone, vibraphone (commonly called "vibes"), snare drum, cymbals, gongs, etc... ad infinitum. 
    In human families, what make up "characteristics" that define each unit? Some families are Asian, some are European, Chinese, English, Irish, Jewish, Iranian, or such. Nationality helps to define the unit. Families are also set apart by class: some are very wealthy, moderately wealthy, middle class, lower class, and poverty, etc... Other characteristics of families would be described by their faith, or their lack of it. In the old days, people were usually Christian, Jewish, Hindi, Buddhist, Muslim, or such. Today, there are plethoras of various belief systems. Families can be held together or broken apart by belief systems. 
    There is an old saying that "blood is thicker than water." In the south, the "Bubba system" is usually a family system or nepotism. Regardless of what anyone else thinks, we cling to familial patterns. They are imprinted or ingrained in our DNA. Even thought patterns are passed down genetically (in the family) from one generation to the next.
    In the Bible, the Jews were separated for service by family lines. The Levites served in the house of God. They were set apart from the rest. Some people are chosen by God for special service, and that usually follows a pattern or a bloodline. The bloodline of Jesus Christ is very interesting. In His bloodline was a prostitute called Rahab, Ruth - a Moabite woman, and many other "unseemly" people were in His bloodline. Why?
    There are various families of animals: a "pride" of lions, a "gaggle" of Geese, a "school" of fish, Elephants, Giraffes, dolphins, whales, dogs, cats, snails, lizards, etc... Why are there so many families? Why are various families "connected" with other families? When various families come together, a "symphony" of sound is usually produced. 
    Around this time of year, as well as other times, especially at Christmas seems to be a definitive "family" time. Why? Is it just "tradition?" Around the time of Christ's birth, the census brought families together in the city of their origin, like salmon returning home. Christmas time has always been a special family time for my family, but it is no longer. When Mom and Dad are gone, the family often splits apart. There are family leaders, and there are family followers. Parents lead and children follow. At least, that is the way it is supposed to work. When children rule the roost, there is chaos and frustration in the ranks. There is no peace in such a family. Peace come to a family when the order is straight and is understood by all. Father, Mother, then the children in birth order. Eventually the children start their own families and separate from their family unit to start their own. Nowadays, we would call this the extended family.  (More to come)  "Whoever herd of such things?"

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