I noticed today that families that are divided pose some remarkable parallels to a much larger divide; the political divide between Republicans and Democrats in our American society that bare some of the same characteristics as the way the nation is divided. There are key foundations that are inherently broken, like trust, point of view, lifestyle choices and leaders. The same qualities reflect what is broken in a divided family. I can’t help but to wonder how things got this far politically, and within families, that we can’t seem to put the pieces back together.

I am living in one of those families that have been divided for over a year now. However, this mechanism that keeps families from communicating reaches as far back as my great grandfather. This tactic of refusing to work things out and sit down to communicate with loved ones goes back generations in my family. It is much easier to cut and run, or walk away for good than it is to admit where we are flawed, or love and reason beyond our pain. The opposite political sides are doing the same thing. They refuse to even discuss issues anymore. They have just decided that they hate each other and have resigned themselves to being right even when the ENTIRE situation is wrong. There isn’t one word, program or motion that can bring these sides together. There isn’t one word that will bring my family back together. I have tried many words. I have agreed to listen. I have agreed to forgive. The biggest block between my older brother and I at this point is his refusal to come back to the table and talk.

Like in Congress and with the opposing political parties, the discourse has run its course. The nation as a whole would like the foolish, child-like behavior of grown ups to cease and the discussions to resume for a common goal. Congress is well beyond that point. My family is too. In fact, the pain of being exiled now speaks much louder than even the offense that caused the family split. There is no solution for our family, and the more I think about it there is no solution for our existing Congress either.

My hope was for these opposing parties to gather their strength and to sit down at a large table and discuss the things that are important. Discuss the issues that are keeping us divided. Discuss the breaches of trust that need to be mended. Insist on coming up with a compromise without a hidden agenda. The same rules apply for both sides and should be practiced in my family as well as the government that is responsible for bring the entire nation (family) together as one well operating machine.

Granted there are probably less emotional bonds and pain at risk in our United States Congress than in a family, but the angst and severity of division remains alike.

I highlight this association only because there seems to be a dramatic correlation in our dysfunction as a nation and that lies within our family structure that nags at me. If the family bonds were tighter, if the family communicated better, if the family trusted one another perhaps there would be a better relationship between political sides. The reality is that we should start from scratch. Clean out all the people who are stuck in our Congress and elect some movers and shakers with a fresh perspective. Fill our Congressional building with people who want to move forward and be willing to compromise for our nation. Now if only I could find away to apply the same with my own family.

Author's Bio: 

Sarah was born in Boston, MA, raised in New York City and graduated from the University of Connecticut with two degrees. She obtained her degrees in Communications and Psychology. Through her own personal tragedies and struggles Sarah married young and had two beautiful girls. Even though her marriage failed, her devotion to her graduate education and her girls was unsurpassed. With her Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in analyzing foreign markets, and a new career opportunity in MD, she moved to MD where she met and fell in love with Enrique. Today, Sarah lives in Maryland with her husband and their children, researching, writing and publishing articles and books