Awakened Living Study Program, Lesson 42: FAMILY RESPONSIBILITIES

Introduction
Dear brothers and sisters: Good morning and thank you for attending our weekly Awakened Living Study Program. My name is Alaye Soteme and I will be your host. Our topic for today’s Study is FAMILY RESPONSIBILITIES. May we focus our full attention on this study for the lessons of life because knowledge is POWER, knowledge is SUCCESS, knowledge is FORGIVENESS, knowledge is WISDOM, knowledge is ENLIGHTENMENT and knowledge is AWAKENED LIVING.

All quotes relating to GOD are interpreted in a Universal sense; in other words our use of the word GOD does not refer to any religion, cultural Gods, saviors, or created Gods. GOD is the underlying ESSENCE of the Universe. GOD has no chosen people, GOD has no Sacred Text and GOD has no Sacred Place! The Universe is the Sacred Text, the Universe is the Sacred Place and all creatures are Testaments of GOD! 

Further you are here to look at life from a different angle. You are not here to follow what others have put in place be it their religion, their Gods, their sacred texts, their beliefs or their way of thinking. You are here to share your LIGHT with the world.  The beliefs of our ancestors are our liabilities. Our challenge is to look at life in ways that promote interdependence and destroy all forms of discrimination including racism, tribalism, nationalism, nepotism, fundamentalism, fanaticism, favoritism, exclusivism, chosen people and racial superiority. 

Lastly, none of the quotes here is absolute or written in blood. They are all human thoughts and ideas based on their experiences and according to their levels of consciousness. The Awakened Living Study Program is a platform to study what others have said and improve on them. Do not for any reason use the quotes as mantra for life because you are the LIGHT!

Opening Meditation
You may offer an appropriate prayer before reading, discussing and reflecting on the famous quotes and the Sacred Texts verses. You may use the following prayer:

O LOVE who pervades the universe, we thank you for this opportunity to learn. We pray for LOVE to manifest amongst us to guide our readings, discussions and reflections. We specially pray for peace of mind and save us from all distractions and concerns of mind and body so that we may learn the lessons of life for our guidance and the transformation of our lives. In the name of Love, the Earth and the Universe, Amen.

Announcements
The Study Leader may make announcements at this time. Welcome new members, recognize birthdays or anniversaries; make an award or recognize a contribution; announce Circle of Life successes. This is also an opportunity for anyone to share an experience, give thanks or make a request for special prayers.

Opening Thoughts
The leader or an appointed person will stand and read the opening thoughts. The opening thoughts explain the topic of discussion. You may use the information below or explain it in your own words.

Family responsibilities are the things we do for the good of our families. Let us consider a typical family consisting of a mother, a father, a son and a daughter. The parents are jointly responsible for certain things, the mother is responsible for motherly things, the father is responsible for fatherly things and the children are responsible for age appropriate things. In an ideal situation each of us will be up to our responsibilities but this is not always the case in many families. In practice we find that parents do all the things or the mother does most of the things; in some cases the father does most of the things and in some cases the children rarely do anything. This presentation will look at the faces of family responsibilities and suggest important responsibilities for each member of the family.

Famous Quotes
Take turns to read the famous quotes and discuss what you have learned from each quote.  Please give credit to the author of the quote and as an assignment for presentations each person may choose an author and find out more about the author to share with the group during the next session.

1 When you blame others, you give up your power to change. Anonymous
2 If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders. Abigail Van Buren
3 Always kiss your children goodnight — even if they're already asleep. H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
4 Your children need your presence more than your presents. Jesse Jackson
5 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy. Robert A. Heinlein
6 Perhaps we have been misguided into taking too much responsibility from our children, leaving them too little room for discovery. Helen Hays
7 Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege, than the raising of the next generation. C. Everett Koop
8 The first duty of love is to listen. Paul Tillich
9 If you take responsibility for yourself you will develop a hunger to accomplish your dreams.” Les Brown
10 Though I am not always responsible for what happens to me, I am responsible for how I handle what happens to me.” Zig Ziglar

Sacred Texts Quotes
Take turns to read all the sacred text quotes and discuss what you have learned from each quote. In your discussion compare and contrast the quotes. What did you learn from the similarities and differences? What quote inspires you? What life lessons did you learn from the quote? Please give credit to the sacred text during your reading by mentioning the name of the text and where the quote could be found.

1 “As the child, according to its natural disposition, commits thousands of faults, The father instructs and slights, but again hugs him to his bosom. Sikhism. Adi Granth, Sorath, M.5
2 Attend strictly to the commands of your parents and the instructions of your teachers. Serve your leader with diligence; be upright of heart; eschew falsehood; and be diligent in study; that you may conform to the wishes of the heavenly spirit. Shinto. Oracle of Temmangu
3 The gentleman works upon the trunk. When that is firmly set up, the Way grows. And surely proper behavior towards parents and elder brothers is the trunk of Goodness? Confucianism. Analects 1.2
4  If your parents take care of you up to the time you cut your teeth, you take care of them when they lose theirs. African Religions. Akan Proverb (Ghana)
5 My father sent for me; I saw he was dying. I buried him in that beautiful valley of winding waters. I love that land more than all the rest of the world. A man who would not love his father's grave is worse than a wild animal. Native American Religions. Nez Perce Tradition
6 May in this family discipline overcome indiscipline, peace discord, charity miserliness, devotion arrogance, the truth-spoken word the false spoken word which destroys the holy order. Zoroastrianism. Avesta, Yasna 60.5
Supporting one's father and mother, cherishing wife and children and a peaceful occupation; this is the greatest blessing. Buddhism. Sutta Nipata 262
8 Natural mildness should be there in the family. Observance of the vows leads to mildness.... Right belief should there be amongst family members. Crookedness and deception cause unhappiness in the family. Straightforwardness and honesty in one's body, speech, and mental activities lead the family to an auspicious path. Purity, reverence, ceaseless pursuit of knowledge, charity, removal of obstacles that threaten equanimity, service to others -- these make the family happy. Jainism. Tattvarthasutra 6.18-24
9 By deeds, not by birth, is one a brahmin. By deeds one is a ksatriya, by deeds is one a vaishya, and by deeds is one a shudra. Jainism. Uttaradhyayana Sutra 25.3
10 Fathers,[a] do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Christianity, New Testament: Ephesians 6:4

Teaching Story
The teaching story is a story, a parable or thoughts related to the topic of discussion. An appointed person will read each story and the group will take turns and discuss. What does the story mean to you? What did you learn from the story? Did the story add anything new to the topic of discussion? How has this study enriched your life? 

For our teaching story we will look at the responsibilities of Parents and children. If you live in this era you would agree that the traditional roles of parents have changed more so when there is a dual income family. By traditional roles I mean the father being the provider and the mother being the homemaker. What we see today in many dual-income families is equal partnership. However, we can still recognize roles that are gender specific. The following roles for parents are sometimes reversed in some families but I'll stick to the traditional roles for this presentation.

Responsibilities of the mother:
1 Home maker: The mother takes care of the family home and takes care of the family including the children. The most important part of this care is love. The mother’s love is all over the family. She wakes up early in the morning to prepare breakfast for the children before they go to school. She nurses the children back to health when they are sick. She knows everyone’s birthday and prepares for them in advance. She makes sure that the family is healthy and provides emotional support for every member of the family because mother knows best.
2 One-On-One Visits: She gives individual attention to each member of the family by having one-on-one visits. These visits help her to assess the emotional health of each member of the family.
3 Sex Education: She provides sex education to the female members of the family more especially to adolescents and teenagers
4 Education: She demonstrates the family values in her talks, actions and interactions. In this way the children could learn from her directly. She willingly helps the children with homework at any time and stays late at night to make sure that their homework is done.
5 Discipline: She disciplines her children with love and understanding
6. Disclosure Meeting: She calls for daily disclosure meeting for each member of the family to share their experiences with the family. This helps her to gauze what is happening in the lives of her children and spouse outside the family.

Responsibilities of the Father
1. 
Provider: The father provides the resources for the well being of his family. He provides food, clothing and shelter. It is also his responsibility to provide the resources for vacations and similar activities.
2. Discipline: He disciplines the children with love.
3. Leadership: He sets the leadership tone in the family and trains each member of the family to lead
4. One-On-One Visits: He takes one-on-one visits with each member of the family to determine the unity and strength of the family.
5 Education: He helps the family with all the educational needs including living the family values.
6. Sex Education: Provides sex education for the male members of the family.
7. Disclosure Meeting: He calls for daily disclosure meeting for each member of the family to share their experiences with the family. This is his way of finding out about the experiences of the members of the family outside the family

Responsibilities of the Children
1 Obey Your Parents: The children obey their parents. Ask questions if you do not understand.
2 Listen to your Parents: Learn to listen by practicing meditation
3 Study Daily: This will help you to develop a good study habit
4 Help your Parents: Help your parents in cleaning the home and in doing other odd jobs. Observe when Dad is fixing the family vehicle, fixing the house and when mom is cooking and doing similar jobs.
5 Disclosure Meeting: Share everything that happened to you at school and in daycare with your family. This helps your parents to know what is happening in your life outside the home.

Closing Meditation
The closing meditation presents the highlights of the Study.  The highlights should include among others what you have learned and what aspects of the study are worth noting. The leader or an appointed person may share the closing meditation. You may use the thoughts and information provided below but I encourage you to use the contributions of the participants and current relevant information.

Our closing Meditation is on the importance of family responsibilities. The family only works well when each member of the family is responsible for their contributions. Little contributions add up to make a happy family.

 

Donations
You may accept gifts and donations at this time for the work you are doing. It takes effort, time and money to put the Study Program together so I encourage attendants to give. An appointed person may now pass the donation bag. The leader may bless the gifts after the donations.

Closing Prayer
Always close your Study Program with a prayer or an affirmation. Pray for guidance and direction during the week. Pray for everyone present. The leader or an appointed person may offer the closing prayer.

Refreshments
You may serve refreshments after the Study. This is a time to relax and socialize. Get to know the people in the Program with you and I mean really know them well. One of the secrets of success is connection so I encourage you to know the people around you. The host may decide what to serve or he or she may ask the attendants what they want for refreshments before each Study Program.

Talent Contribution
You may now entertain the group with your talent in music, songs, dance and poetry including playing musical instruments. This is also a good time to share some Awakened Living tips for the benefit of the group.

Circle of Life
The Circle of Life depicts different aspects of your life. You are at the center and the different aspects radiate outwards to form a circle as long as they are in harmony. You can pinpoint an aspect of your life at any given time and find out if you are in harmony with the rest of the circle. If an aspect needs improvement you may have an uneven circle. Your challenge then is to work on the area that needs improvement in order to keep it in harmony with the rest of the circle.

There are 12 aspects in this version of the Wheel of Life including Health, Spirituality, Family, Relationships, Education, Mission, Finances, Work, Play, Personal Development, Environment, and creativity. Take time to answer the following questions and begin to work on the areas that need improvement.

Health
1. Are you healthy?
2. Do you have any bad habits like drinking, smoking, pornography, fast foods, etc?

Spirituality
1. Are you spiritual?
2. When was the last time you meditated, chanted, affirmed or prayed?

Family
1. Do you have a family?
2. Are you happy with your spouse, children, and parents?

Relationships
1. Do you have friends?
2. Are you happy with your friends, co-workers, boss?

Education
1. Do you have a degree?
2. When was the last time you read a book?

Mission
1. Do you have a mission statement?
2. What is your life mission?

Finances
1 Are you financially stable?
2. Do you have any debts?

Work
1. Do you have a job, career?
2. Are you happy with your job, career?

Play
1. Do you play regularly?
2. When was the last time you played with your friends, children, spouse, parents or pet?

Personal Development
1. Do you lose your temper often?
2. When was the last time you took a class on human development?

Environment
1 Are you happy with your environment?
2. How are you reducing pollution?

Creativity
1. Are you sharing your creativity?
2. When was the last time you wrote a poem, painted, sang, danced, or played a musical instrument?

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