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Vacation Plans – Community Building in the Family

snow covered mountains with green meadow in the foreground
Hurricane Ridge, WA — photo by Emmarie

Last spring, we were planning our family vacation. This is always a tricky thing for me. Our teenage daughter wants something active and adventurous. My husband’s work is rather intense and he just needs a rest. I feel like I’m caught in the middle trying to broker a deal between the two of them. Usually we end up with a compromise that no one really wants.

As I began working on these consultation materials, I suddenly realized, “We’re not consulting!” So I went back to them and suggested we try this approach. We sat down and discussed our vacation again. This time, each of us was very frank and open about what we wanted and needed. And then we let it go.

As a result, we were able to come up with a plan that suited everyone—a great balance of adventure, new sights, vigorous activity and peaceful strolls, all in a beautiful setting. It was the best vacation we’ve ever had. Several times a day, one or more of us would just burst out with “This is so much fun!”

And it wasn’t just because we consulted in the beginning; we carried that consultative attitude with us throughout the trip. When something came up or things didn’t go according to plan, we regrouped, discussed it some more and came up with a solution that everyone was happy with. More than anything, it was this spirit of willingness that made everything so special. We each knew we would be heard and we discovered that by combining our ideas we usually came up with much better solutions. It really was a great trip. And we’ve been able to carry over what we learned there to our day-to-day lives. Talk about well-being!

Say: no man can attain his true station except through his justice. No power can exist except through unity. No welfare and well-being can be attained except through consultation. ~ Bahá'u'lláh
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