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"Sale beyond the sunset"

 
 
Vision
What holds a group of people together, love, loyalty, tradition, community, a wall, a border? Gravity seems to be the only thing holding the human race together sometimes. The question of what holds people together is the most important question facing a polyamorous line family.

In 1943 Abram Maslow published a paper titled, “A Theory of Human Motivation. ” In it he described a hierarchy of needs.
  • Self-Actualization
  • Esteem
  • Love/Belonging
  • Safety
  • Physiological
What we find interesting is that family is mentioned twice in the descriptions of each level. Family is found in Safety and Love/Belonging. That Love/Belonging involves family is probably obvious to most people from a relatively functional family. That Maslow also considered the family to provide safety supports our contention that the line family is a way to stay safe in a world with economic upheavals.

Merriam Webster defines the type of vision we are talking about as “A thought, concept, or object formed by the imagination.
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A shared vision is a must for a cohesive group of investors, explorers, parishioners… and members of a line family. If you have people who enjoy urban living and want to stay close to cultural activities, they will be unlikely candidates for the rural eco-farming family who want to grow all their own food and home-school the children. A vision is what people get passionate about; it is what people will use to keep themselves inspired. When people ask you what your family is all about, you can describe your core values because you have taken the time to write them down, then rewrite them and rewrite them until they fit comfortably.

A vision statement is better when not a rigid document. A vision statement available for comment, review and modification makes it - and your family - resilient and adaptable to change. Remember, the world changes - everything changes. Let your vision statement be a living document.
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A fine line exists between having a vision that is too broad or too narrowly defined. Say your family’s overall vision is that of an artist’s collective. Would you define painting as an art? What about jewelry making, or is that a craft? Are crafters what you want in your vision? Is a crafter’s work likely to generate more income for your family? Will you require all the artists in your family to produce work for sale? Do you want to restrict the number of artists working in a single medium or do you want a family of primarily painters? Don’t ask me, this is your choice to make with the initial partners in your family. Just remember, if your vision is too closely drawn, you may not get new members and your line family might not survive more than one generation.

Of course there are more practical topics that must be covered by a vision statement. We touched on the idea of where to live in the overly simple terms of urban or rural. This is not to say that the entire family must always live under the same roof or be at the main family property all the time. Families can have some members who are seasonal residents due to work or weather considerations. Your family might have several properties, or maybe being sequestered on the family compound is what you’re about.

Don’t forget to come to an agreement about the optimal number of adult members you want in your family. You can even get very personal in your vision. Maybe you would like to model birthrate control and set a goal of no more than one baby per member of the family… maybe less. There is a lot you need to look at. We will save the discussion of financial issues for that section of this website. Just be prepared to take a long time in writing the 1st draft of your vision statement. What’s a long time? A year at least, maybe five; after all, you are building a multigenerational family. What’s five years for an important document that will live and evolve for generations?
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Self-Actualization:
morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, lack of prejudice, acceptance of facts.

Esteem:
self-esteem, confidence, achievement, respect for others, respect by others.

Love/Belonging:
friendship, family, sexual intimacy.

Safety:
security of: body, employment, resources, morality, the family, health property.

Physiological:
breathing, water, food, sleep, sex, homeostasis, excretion.