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View Diary: What type of family do you inhabit? (77 comments)

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  •  rserven, I never understood that quote. (1+ / 0-)
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    GreenMother

    But, then, I never made it all the way through Anna Karenina, either.  If you come back this way, would you explain why it came to mind in this context?

    •  There has been advertisement of a remake... (2+ / 0-)
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      irishwitch, Joy of Fishes

      ...of the movie lately, and each time she sees it, my partner has recited the quote.

      The title of this diary...and a bit of reading of the cited article...sparked my comment.

      I don't really have any knowledge of happy families, as my own was highly dysfunctional.

      •  Anna Karenina Principle (1+ / 0-)
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        rserven

        Who knew.  I thought why not google .... turns out there is something called the Anna Karenina Principle.  Some of the quotes used in the wiki article:

        Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. (Tolstoy)
        and
        Again, it is possible to fail in many ways (for evil belongs to the class of the unlimited, as the Pythagoreans conjectured, and good to that of the limited), while to succeed is possible only in one way (for which reason also one is easy and the other difficult -- to miss the mark easy, to hit it difficult); for these reasons also, then, excess and defect are characteristic of vice, and the mean of virtue; For men are good in but one way, but bad in many. (Aristotle)
        Oh my.  Only one way to happiness, and endless ways to unhappiness.  It seems rather hopeless.  But I think they are missing something.  This gets closer:
        ... All well-adapted systems are alike, all non-adapted systems experience maladaptation in their own way,... But in the chaos of maladaptation, there is an order. It seems, paradoxically, that as systems become more different they actually become more correlated within limits.  (Alexander Gorbin)
        Now wait a minute... there are multiple ways to unhappiness, but the end result of unhappiness is all the same.  I get that.  I would add however that the paths to happiness are also myriad.  They criss-cross the other paths, and at every juncture we have a choice of which path to follow.  

        (From a kid from one dysfunctional family to kid from another.)

        •  Eh, I like the way the Buddhists talk of happiness (1+ / 0-)
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          Joy of Fishes

          And I am not quoting scripture here, that I know of, just some conversations. They seemed to think that it was just the opposite. The key was mostly in perception and acceptance.

          •  My simple construct might ... (1+ / 0-)
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            GreenMother

            ... not stand up to scrutiny.  After all, I made it up after finding the AK principle, deciding it was incomplete, and filling in what I thought was missing.

            But if we were to play with it a bit, at each of those junctures how do we recognize that we have a choice, and how do we choose?  For me, it would be a  combination of mindfulness (what is really going on here?) and a secular form of the serenity prayer (change what I can change, and accept what I cannot change, i.e. don't cling to wishing something is other than what it is).

            Does this make sense?  

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