Family Values

The Dippel Family"All cultural values are really a reflection of family values - either by what is taught, or by what is omitted. The family is the core unit that shapes the perspective of the next generation. Often by ten years of age, many impressions are naturally acquired. It is not just what is taught, but what is perceived. In nature the young must learn quickly to survive so they gather much from what their parents value. If it is material wealth then that is important, and if it is a concept of moral values, then those values become primary. Interestingly, the “dynasty style” of families in politics, economics, media and culture (and entertainment) usually become dynasties transcending generations because they understand the importance of family and building it as a unit. By understanding this heritage they aggregate and pass forward their predecessor’s experience, values, and wisdom. It is from this heritage that the next generation forms itself to meet the time. An example could be a generation of great athletes - the genes obviously matter, but so does the training that the parents provide, the knowledge of doctors for specialized injuries, and the confidence and drive that is instilled to achieve family expectations. In political families it is the way that the image of the family and its values of the past have been promoted that help in underdeveloped countries by symbolizing a concept, similarly it may be the family fundraising Rolodex and networks in developed societies

"In economics it is the relationship with other wealthy families through social and charitable activities and the relationship with institutions. But in all cases, family, in the first generation of development or as a dynasty, needs an organized approach to teaching family history and its core, the family values.

"If these values are totally mercenary then you seldom have a strong dynasty because you teach the convenience of personal materialism. The individual, not the group, becomes the focus. Broader values and obligations build family, and a perspective of service to society strengthens both the family and society.

"You must focus not only on family financial assets, but intellectual ones as well to fully develop the concept. You must focus on keeping peace in the family and jointly developing the family’s finances so common values are not only worthy, but are required for business. A combined family’s assets are leveraged much more effectively than just a group of individuals

"Family vacations and organized discussions build a foundation where all can communicate and develop methods of interaction. Values are implicit since they are handed down. In our family it was - what you do is important, how well you do it is significant, but why you do it is critical. (Dad’s side). Mother’s side was more religious - character is what you do when no one is watching (with the admonition that God is always watching). If you know the limits of what you will do morally, then you look to build family security through wealth generation. Dad always noted that three generations are usually involved. One provides the base, the second builds it, and the third either loses it or takes it to the level that they can plan for future generations because the family is secure because the wealth has hit a critical level. On occasion this can be done with one great event at one time that conveys wealth, but on average it is a disciplined growth. Common family values and vision are a necessity of this trans-generational coordination. Every generation has a new environment to which it must adjust so it needs to understand the arenas of power and the ultimate goals of the family. Having vacations and getting everyone together annually is often key - if it is a simple inexpensive fishing trip it might be more important for building family than an established family’s vacation at their private resort. The building family needs capital consolidation where the established family is only judging alternatives, but both need quality time set aside to discuss these issues so all are involved and informed.

"Regardless of the level of wealth - a family vision unifies it, and by the family integrating together, they better integrate with and change society.

"In each family a generation needs to re-energize the importance of heritage. My in-laws have done a great deal of research of their family. Their history went to Charlemagne and the Magna Carta and I had research efforts to fill in the blanks on our family so that a 300 page volume of our children’s common heritage would be a document that each child and grandchild could pass down. It gives a sense of being and understanding. Not the pride of who ancestors were, but the understanding of the place each holds in their generation. When my son decided he needed to do more for his country and joined the Naval Reserve, I had the chance as a retired Naval JAG Lieutenant Commander to swear him in and his grandfather got to change his hat, all aboard the retired Battleship Texas. History crossed paths that day because the last time his grandfather had seen the Texas was sixty-years before when it escorted his convoy across the Atlantic for landings in Africa. I gave him the compass his great-grandfather had carried in World War I, the silver dollar his other grandfather (my father) carried in World War II with the date he resigned as Sheriff and enlisted and the date he came home etched on it - which he carried until his death, and my service ribbon from the Vietnam era. People ask me why in the world Tee would want to join when he did not have to during the dangers of Iraq. I did not have a hard time understanding because to all of us it was a family responsibility

"Values have a cost if you hold them dear. Like King David who needed a certain threshing floor, an altar, and a sacrifice to stop a plague (according to his prophets), you should not accept the easy out such as the owner giving it all to you. King David knew that a sacrifice that cost him nothing had no value. Family commitment and values build character even though they involve risks.

"After a sense of self - a sense of values is necessary and that was part of the reason that The New Legacy and The Language of Conscience were written. I could never say it better than Dad’s last conversation and that needed to be passed down in some appropriate way.

"Every family has the same background to a large degree, but keeping the family close and in touch is a responsibility of each successive generation.

"Each generation only knows what it is taught. As it has been noted, we are only one generation of past knowledge from apes. Society will be shaped by the way the children are shaped by the family structure and vision. Single parent families have even more responsibility. Hopefully the materials provided in the website and within the books will provide points for discussion in orientation of the next generation as to what perspective and knowledge they will need to succeed and impose a familial obligation to do so."

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