Yesterday I was quite impressed by what the Trump family had to say on the Oprah show. Impressed by the clear evidence that they are truly a family. A family that loves, honors, respects and enjoys being with each other.
The kids were all happy, healthy and flourishing. Each of them exhibited a strong sense of independence and the desire to live their best life while giving back to the world in their own unique way. And they all expressed a sense of appreciation for what they have and they didn’t take it for granted.
Sure, it’s easy to justify a wealthy family’s mind/body/spirit abundance by saying, “Anyone can be happy and healthy when they are born into money.” But that’s not necessarily true. There are plenty of people who have been handed everything on a material plane, and yet can’t pull it together mentally, emotionally or spiritually. Wealth comes with its own set of personal challenges for individuals and families just as does poverty. If you need an example, compare any of the Trump offspring’s level of gratitude and self-actualization to that of Paris Hilton.
An unfathomable number of teens today believe that happiness comes from being independent. They believe independence comes from disconnecting from family, disrespecting their parents in an effort to look grown-up and “cool” to their peers and alienating siblings in order to be the only shining star in the family who attracts all the attention – positive or negative.
Yet, if our youth today were truly as smart as they think they are they would realize that independence isn’t something found “out there,” wherever “there” is. It’s not “found” in London, L.A. or New York. You don’t suddenly have “it” when you get a university degree, your own car, an apartment or a job that pays your rent. And it certainly doesn’t come from a need to prove yourself. That’s called bondage.
Independence comes from a sense of self that is gained through strong family values. CONNECTION not disconnection, alienation or abandonment. Independence is a sense of peace within and an acceptance of everyone. It’s not about proving to yourself or others that you can make it on your own. Total independence separate from all others is a falacy anyway. We are all inter-dependent, relying on each other and the universe to provide us with the basics of air, sun, food and shelter, fuel for heat and transportation, technology for instant communication and so much more. We also inter-depend on each other for friendship, support and help in times of need.
The reason the Trump offspring have such a strong sense of Self is because they were raised with solid work ethics, respect for their parents and healthy family values. I didn’t hear any cries of victimization from the Trump kids on Oprah yesterday and they’ve had just as much or more drama in their lives as teens who were raised in “normal” families.
I’m not saying Donald and his gang don’t have flaws. And yes, they presented their best selves to the millions of viewers who were watching. But here’s the thing. It worked! The Trumps showed families around the world how to be a family.
Our truly wise teens who can expand their world view and step INTO a sense of honest connectedness with mom, dad, sister and brother will be the first ones to gain that real sense of independence they are so desperately seeking. It’s not about running away; it’s about coming home. Coming home to your Self. No matter how far you travel or how wide you search, true independence is only found in the spirit of community, which is really just an expanded view of family. And family is just an expanded view of Self.
So when it comes right down to it independence isn’t about going it alone; it’s about thriving in harmony with others.