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Bon Journal

Friends like family

Today a family of four came to stay with me for four days. Counting the years, I told their sons Jason and Alex that I've known their parents for almost twenty years. Randy, Rachel and I had all met Fall of 1982, but they didn't become involved until after they had graduated.

Observing the way they interacted, I noticed that they were more like close friends than the sort of family that I have witnessed elsewhere. Some years ago, I joined them cycling on a lovely Sunday morning. I didn't know if I was a grown-up or a kid. I was as close to their sons as I was to them.

The Confucian tradition of a Chinese upbringing taught me about hiearchy, structure, and respect. And distance. You don't treat your parents like your siblings. You don't treat your siblings like your friends. But in this Western world where we grew up, we sometimes treat our parents worse than our friends. It's easier to seek forgiveness from those closest to you and thus it's easier to treat them poorly.

Treating each other with respect allows us to value each other as individual beings, the way we would like to be treated.

When I asked my friends how they manage to be such friends? They answered that they treated each other with respect.

Here is the kind of family I would like to have - but a family of ensemble....

29 June 2001

I arranged the Theme from Titanic for flute and piano for my friends' boys. My friends had seen the movie three times - and the boys played until they got tired of it.