Family is a word filled with conflicting meaning. To some the word represents the traditional unit of father, mother, and child. To others a family may be a group of people living together under one roof. We also hear of foster families, corporate families, and community families. Maybe to you a family simply represents the comfort and support of friends. But no matter what family we claim, we cannot deny that we are all members of the larger human family. Although we may differ in beliefs, values, origins, or upbringings, we are all somehow interconnected. We are all a vital part of the family; without each individual’s presence the family would lack the characteristics, abilities, talents, and purposes which he or she alone possesses.
As members of the human family, our actions have the potential to affect the family as a whole. In my immediate family my influence may extend to my daughter, my husband, my siblings, or my parents. But with a little work and introspection I can have a far greater reach: my actions, talents, and beliefs can benefit my workplace family, my neighborhood family, my community family, and hopefully the broader human family.
It is my belief that as members of this family, we have a Father who knows each of us personally. And no matter how our beliefs concerning God may differ, we each have an eternal role and destiny. Each of us has the responsibility to determine our own individual purpose, and how we can best fulfill that purpose and influence mankind.
I invite you to interpret these paintings in light of your own views on family, and to see if you cannot find, in some way, the many families of which you are a part. I hope you will also discover how your unique abilities can benefit the human family. As Italian philosopher Giuseppe Mazzini has said: “We must strive to make of humanity one single family.” In doing so we will see each other as brother and sister, treat each other a little kinder, and perhaps begin to realize the great influence for good we can have on each other.