Last week in the United States we witnessed the Boston Marathon bombing tragedy. We are now living through what one reporter dubbed as an “inexplicable civil breakdown of one of our immigrant families.” The search for the reasons behind these radical behaviors has commenced. Although the facts are not yet known, the initial assessment suggests that two brothers veered astray in their support for their adopted country. Some of their own family members have come to their defense while other family members have been quick to denounce their bloodline relatives.
As family business advisors working with many different enterprising families, we are called often to intervene in difficult situations. These can be substance-abuse issues, depression, or family cut-offs that affect a person’s constructive functioning within the family, the community and the workplace. We have observed that all families run into some challenges and each has some level of dysfunction. No family is without flaws. The enterprising families that endure for multiple generations take responsibility to look out for other family members and raise their hand when they see family members going astray. Whether this means asking senior generation members to relinquish the car keys to protect themselves and others around them or to conduct an alcohol intervention, we have learned that for long-term continuity of a family, it comes down to family members being vigilant of family members’ behaviors and having the courage to step up when the situation calls for it.
Do you have a family situation that needs to be addressed?