How Family Customs Influence Us

I don't know about y'all, but I'm highly entertained by these videos of Black mamas and catchphrases that it somehow seems we all heard. I've got a new spin on one though.

When visiting folks we would always get, "When we get in there, you're not hungry. Don't ask for nothing". I've always thought about it in terms of regulating kids behavior, so they weren't impolite or make a mess or whatever. Literally today it popped into my mind that maybe it means something else.

Go with me. Here you have a kinship culture where people want to share and give you the best of what they have. And also, here you have a culture where all too often people haven't had enough. I can imagine situations where people would give guests their food and then have nothing for themselves for dinner. Do I know this happened, no. But I can see it so easily.

So maybe this started because folks knew their loved ones and neighbors didn't have much of anything to spare and didn't want them to be put in that position??? With care and kindness overflowing.

History always matters. Family history, cultural history, societal history. There's a backstory to everything we do. I made one up today, but it's rooted in very real things and I hope is a reminder that we don't always understand why people do the things they do. We don't always understand why we do what we do. But there's always a reason.

I encourage us to dig for the reasons within ourselves. And if possible, give a different spin to someone else's. One that paints them with compassion and kindness. We all need it.


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