Value of family

Once there was an old man who had two grown-up sons. Before dying, he called the two sons and told them he had some sacks of rice grains, which he wanted to divide equally between them.

The first son was married and had five children, whereas the second son was unmarried.

When the old man eventually died, the sacks of rice were divided equally. Now, the first son who had five children said to himself that he was settled in matrimony whereas his younger brother was not. He reasoned that in his old age, he would be better off than his brother and, therefore, every night he would slip into his room and take one sack of rice and keep it in his younger brother’s room.

Meanwhile, what was going on in the younger brother’s mind? He thought to himself that he is single and therefore had less needs than his elder brother who had a wife and additionally five children to feed, life long. He felt he was better off and, therefore, every night, would carry a sack of rice to his elder brother’s room.

What a beautiful story of sterling feelings between siblings! The two brothers intrinsically cared for each other. The motto is the value of family which should never be diluted or underestimated. One witty person put it succinctly, “If I didn’t have a family, my purse would be full and my house would be clean, but my heart would be empty.”

Unfortunately, in some families, it is all hunky-dory when the siblings are young and together everyone contributes to equitable family living. But problems arise when the siblings grow up, become adults and have families of their own.

Then, due to the pressure of their spouses, they become obsessed with their immediate families (husband/wife and children) to the detriment and neglect of their siblings.

Indeed, sibling attachment should necessarily permeate not only in the early childhood years, but later on, too, when one gets married and has children of one’s own. A wonderful example of this is my best friend who has three brothers and two sisters.
During their childhood, not a day would pass without the parents and their six children sitting in the living room, reading the Bible and saying their daily prayers together.

They never broke this ritual of praying together so much so that even when they were all married and had families of their own, they had a firm foundation of sibling love, too. Their family bonds were strong and invincible.

It all certainly goes to prove the adage, “The family that prays together stays together.”

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