Afraid you're not important enough in your large family to stand out? Think BIGGER. Grow you're 'you
are important' attitude...
This is a great message I read in the book, The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz, which has been recommended by Bill Gates and many others as a terrific book for Highschool graduates to read when preparing for their future. It's a very popular, classic book that is readily available. I think it applies to my family members as well as children from all families great and small. I am posting the excerpt in it's entirety here, if you are interested in reading/purchasing the entire book (I recommend you do!) then you can buy it here: The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz Enjoy.....
Grow the You Are Important Attitude, from "The Magic of Thinking Big"
This is a fact of paramount significance: Each human being, whether he lives in India or Indianapolis, whether he’s ignorant or brilliant, civilized or uncivilized, young or old has this desire: He wants to feel important.
Ponder on that. Everyone, yes everyone, your neighbor, you, your mom, your sister or your brother-has a natural desire to feel he is “somebody.” The desire to be important is man’s strongest, most compelling non-biological hunger.
On the philosophical side, our religions, our laws, our entire culture is based on the belief of the individual.
Suppose, for example, you were flying your own plane and were forced down in an isolated mountain region. As soon as your accident was known, a large-scale search for you would begin. No one would ask, “Is that fellow important?” Without knowing anything about you except that you are a human being, helicopters, other aircraft, and searching parties on foot would begin looking for you. And they would keep looking for you, spending thousands of dollars in the process, until they found you or until not one trace of hope remained.
When a little child wanders off into a woods, or falls into a well, or gets in some other dangerous predicament, no one is concerned with whether or not the child comes from an “important” family. Every effort is made to rescue the child because every child is important.
It’s not too wild a guess that, or all living creatures, probably not more than one in ten million is a human being. A person is a biological rarity. He is important in God’s scheme of things.
Your turn to share:
What did this article help you think about when it comes to your own family?
Are there members of your big fam that need a reminder that they are important even admist all the hustle and bustle of coming from a large family?
What other inspirational quotes, websites, articles, books can you share that help members of large families appreciate the importance of every single individual who is part of it?
Please leave a comment below and I'll follow up :)
A Complete Set
Written by Dr. Mary Ann Salvatoriello, natural mother of seven boys and four girls, and matriarch of an even larger family of in-laws and grandchildren
Last year was different.
Thanksgiving cam and went and two of us were missing.
Chrismas came and went and one of us was missing.
This year Thanksgiving came and went and two of us were missing.
Underneath the joy of reunion,
There was an undercurrent of melancholy.
This year is bliss.
I did not say this year was perfection.
It is the first time that all of us have been together for two years.
There may be disgreements.
That doesn't matter.
Children have made long journeys to arrive at our house.
They have crossed chasms of doubt.
They have plodded couragouesly.
They have eaten the nourishment offed by companionship with their siblings.
Some are still hungry.
As we all attemt to find our place and remain undiminished
I realize my role in loving myself
Loving my husband
Loving my children
Forgiving my husband
Forgiving my children
For anything that happened in the past.
I look forward to cherishing moments,
Which will be over too soon,
When we breathe the same air
Eat the same food
And be in each other's presence.
We really are much better as a complete set.
Want to learn more about life raising & growing up with a large family? Check out the Salvatoriello's blog of big family lore here
The following post is by Mary Ann Salvatoriello, mother of 11 children. She is a licenced clinical psycologist in Hanover, NH. Her post below describes how one of her children's experience "leaving the nest" this summer relates to a great book she has been reading on the topic of spiritual development:
We are at our cabins on the pond in Grafton, NH again. It is Sunday morning. Dad, Mary Ann, and I went to Mass last night at the 5:00. We had just returned from dropping Julie off at her organic farm site in Warner, NH, where she will stay until the end of July. It is quite a different place, completely off grid (without electric power from the power company). They use solar power for everything, except bottled gas for their stove and some portable heaters. They even use solar power for their electric fences to keep the sheep in.
There was a new calf born this year and the mother cow rejected it, so the people on the farm bottle fed it in the barn and then put it out in the pasture with the sheep. When we were getting a tour of the farm, they brought us up to see the sheep, and there was this dark brown cow, about the size of the sheep, sleeping right amidst the pile –up of light colored sheep, safe in a protective environment until he grows into his own “cowness”. Of course, when we came to gawk at the sheep, the sheep all got up, promptly dropped a bunch of pellets out their backsides, and ambled away, with the cow the last one, curiously looking at us. Couldn’t help thinking there was a metaphor there.
Anyway, that reminds me of the chapter in a book I was reading last night, A Course in Miracles by Dr. Helen Shucman which begins with a powerful quote, “The memory of God comes to the quiet mind. It cannot come where there is conflict; for a quiet mind at war against itself remembers not eternal gentleness... What you remember is a part of you. For you must be as God created you....Let all this madness be undone for you, and turn in peace to the remembrance of God, still shining in your quiet mind.”
The author of the book, suggests finding a picture of yourself as a very young child where you are exhibiting the natural, uninhibited, joy of childhood. Use that as a starting point to reconnect with the innate memory of your spiritual beginnings, where we were most in tune with what it feels like to be in sync with the Divine within us. (my daughter Julie says I’m sounding "new age", but I say we have much in common with others who worship using different names for the same God, and it also says in the Bible, that Jesus said, I leave you my Spirit to be with you and in you. That’s a paraphrase, but I was able to quote it about a month ago. So much for memory. I believe it is in First John.)
It’s been estimated that we have about 60,000 separate thoughts every day – typically, the same 60,000 thoughts we had yesterday. This incessant mind chatter produces anxiety, stress, fear, and worry. Surrendering to peace, gentleness, and tranquility, instead of cluttering your mind up with back and forth inner dialogue is a form of prayer. The author pretends to write the word “CANCEL” on the inner screen of his busy talking mind when he starts to get overwhelmed. I can visualize this image, along with the buzzer, going eeeehhhhh! We always have the power within us to switch into peaceful mode and re-connect or remember our younger peaceful self, reconnecting with the divine within us. And this is a Jesus quote, “,,.with God all things are possible.”
It’s also a well know quotation, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” I suppose I am ready for some of the insights I am sharing with you, because they are very meaningful to me. I like it when the author says, “When I feel good (God), I’m aligned with the Spirit.” When I feel good, I’m ready for the teacher to appear.
The path is sometimes a little bumpy, but I pray that you continue to grow in the H’s, and that we all take the time to remember and feel good (God).
Mom & Dad
This is an exceprt from an email by Rick Salvatoriello to our family. As the oldest Salvatoriello and a veteran of the enterprise technology arena, Rick is our family's go-to-guy on IT safety tips. Here's what he advises big families like ours should do to play it safe when utilizing the "free public wifi" hubs that are sprouting up at coffee shops, airports, and everywhere in-between:
How to avoid getting hacked on public wifi:
Personally, I would never use a public/free wifi, but if you must, here is some things you can do to keep safe.
Try to avoid Wi-Fi hotspots that have no password protection at all.
• If a venue you're in says it has free Wi-Fi, confirm the name of the network before logging on. Otherwise you may log onto a dummy network set up by opportunistic cyberthieves trying to camouflage their true intentions.
• Set your computer to block incoming traffic and disable filesharing. Both Mac OS X and Windows have security settings that let you do this.
• Use password-saving software so that you don't have to manually type in passwords while you're on a public network—this will help thwart keyloggers, which track every keystroke you make in the hopes of discovering your passwords.
• Don't check your bank balance or pay credit cards when you're out and about. Wait until you're on a password-protected, encrypted connection that you know you can trust.
What advice or tips do you share with your children and/or family members to play it safe when using the web in public places? Please join the conversation and leave a comment below!
I wanted to share a quick video I shot of my siblings and I celebrating the gradutation of Julie Salvatoriello from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. We had 8 out of 11 children present for the momentous event. Obviously, the college couldn't give tickets to all of us to sit in the auditorium and watch Julie Sal walk the stage up close, so a bunch of us had to watch it remotely in the Blanchard Student Center nearby.
We had a great time as the anticiaption built, and we were determined to make a bunch of noise and show our sister our support, even if we were only watching her on TV and she couldn't hear us!
We showed Julie the video after the ceremony so she knew were were behind her all the way. I love this video because it shows how close we Sals still are and how supportive we remain of all our siblings, even as we grow up and our lives become more demanding and complex.
Go Julie! We love you!
Family Bonding Activities by V. Morgan Hurley
One of the things I loved was special occasions. My parents always went all out with whatever your desire was for milestones, from First Communion or graduating from Deer Hill School (6th grade). For that one day you got to choose where and what the entire family did together. And birthdays! My mom always ensured your first choice of cake (homemade or Carvel mmmm) followed by a quiet night or friend-filled party.
A Little Hurley "Family Bonding" over flag football in Cohasset, MA
Extra-curricular activities: My parents were huge proponents of sports, drama, clubs, etc. It was actually a requirement that you had to participate in a sport of your choice every fall and spring. And if you weren't working full time, then summer too. As it turned out, all 6 Hurley girls played field hockey under the guidance of the same coach. Every Hurley (but I) competed in swim team summer after summer. We all learned to sail at the local clubs. Skiing lessons by mom started as young as 3 years of age. And of course many of us enjoyed some stage time too. Both of my parents did everything possible to make every performance, whether on the stage or in the pool. And with so many of us on the same teams together, these activities also brought about more sibling camaraderie.
And I almost forgot! Family softball. This was a HUGE battle for my parents. Every Sunday during the summer months my parents FORCED us to play family softball. We would complain and groan throughout the game. But now I look back at those moments (and other "forced family events") and I'm so thankful my parents stuck with it. I, the all knowing teenager, had no idea the strength of the bonds between both my parents and my siblings that they were harvesting during those times.
Wouldn’t you know it? Years later us kids decided to start our own family activity tradition! Today we celebrate every Thanksgiving with family and friends the true Hurley way - a flag football game! Each year the Leathery Lobsters take on the Merciless Muscles in attempt to knock us down from our reign. (Note: the Merciless Muscles have won 3 years in a row...) And with every game comes more laughter, joy and memories.
The Hurley Family, quite organized in Cohasset, MA
Some Hurley Family Tips on Organization By V. Morgan Hurley (1 of 10 children)
Family Chores. My parents loved delegating chores. There were daily chores which were assigned to each individual: setting the table, emptying the dishwasher, doing the laundry, taking out the trash, etc. Then there were two sets of rotating chores. Kitchen duty consisted of 3 pairs (1 'big' with 1 'little' kid) that rotated every night to clean the kitchen after dinner. Friday chores that rotated through the eldest 5 presently living at home. Dusting, vacuuming, floors, bathrooms and my favorite...decorating ie picking up the entire house. Hahaha. We would try our best to be either 'sick' or busy with school activities every Friday in hopes to get out of those chores but nothing gets past Mama Hurley. Can't do it Friday? Well then you know what your Saturday morning plans were.... Spring cleaning: I don't know how my mom kept up the energy to get through this. Hand me downs were HUGE in my family. She would start with the oldest. They would lay out all of the clothes they wanted to keep, make a pile of clothes to pass down and my mom would list what wardrobe "necessities" remained. I swear by the time she got to the youngest kids the only "necessities" that remained were socks and underwear. I can still remember my mom then trekking through the mall with all of us in town to purchase said "necessities" for each of us. Of course this trickled down through our family too with the winter clothing, ski equipment, bikes/roller blades etc. Holidays & Secret Santa: Actually this was my oldest sister, Jess's, idea. Around the middle of high school she came home with a miniature Christmas tree she had created. She said that each little box on the tree had a number that would correspond with a person. We would choose a box and give our gift to that person. That then evolved to a more traditional name pulled from a hat SS. We all agreed to a minimum spending amount. That way instead of buying 10+ $10 gifts (and of course coming up with said gift idea) we focused on 1 gift for a select person. And with the addition of the in-laws, they just got thrown in the mix! Course it helps that my mom instated xmas lists decades ago which you can refer to for ideas.
Recalling my days growing up in a loud, over-flowing household I think back to how well my parents organized the family. Here are three organizational tips for large families to start with:
Looking for more tips on how to organize and prepare for your large family?
This Blog post comes from my Mom, who is a Christian, Catholic Mother of eleven children.
Althogh she is Catholic, she is a very open-minded, spiritual woman who draws inspiration from all corners of God's green earth. Here now, is the woman hereself, Mary Ann Salvatoriello with some practical tips and advice for big family moms and dads everywhere:
Mary Ann - I'm writing after coming back from my Bible study, which I go to on Wednesday mornings. There were a couple of particularly meaningful statements, which I have read lately, that I thought I might share. The first is from 1Corinthians 10:13, “God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength; but with the trial he will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to bear it.” That has been such a comfort to me. I also find it to be true.
I was reading a book by Wayne Dyer, Inspiration Your Ultimate Calling. In one part he reminds us of what many others have said before him – “You get what you think about, whether you want it or not! So be careful about what you think about.” And that reminded me of the other statement from my Bible study.
The second one we talked about last week, from Galatians 5:22, “In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” So if you can’t think of what to think about that won’t get you in trouble, think about how you might implement the fruits of the Spirit. The Spirit is God within us, which Jesus told us he left us “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, which the world cannot accept, because it neither sees it or knows it. But you will know it, because it remains with you, and will be in you.” (John 14:16-17)
We all have God within us because Jesus left the Spirit to be within us. You have the Spirit within you in a special way because you received the sacrament of Confirmation. We may think that God is not with us or watching over us, but we tend to be too harsh on ourselves. God doesn’t condemn us – we are trying to take God’s job. He is the only fair judge. He simply tells us to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus, and love one another.
You may know that every now and then I have to go off on a “sermon”. I can see the eye rolls. If I didn’t do it every once in a while, you might forget that I am your mother. Besides, when I do share these thoughts, which have a great impact on me, I am also affirming my own beliefs, and giving myself hope and courage to face each day in a joyful, loving, peaceful, patient, kind, generous, faithful, gentle, self-controlled way. At least, that is something to shoot for – and if we shoot for these things, we are at least aiming in the right direction, and God will watch over us, and our day can’t help but be brighter. End of sermon. Have a good week.
God Bless You,
Top Responses to Your Big Family:
In recent years, there has been a dramatic inscrease in interest in big families in america and the moms and dads who blog about them, star in TV shows, or just perform the daily miracle that is being a sane parent raising a large family. We, the Salvatoriello's are just such a family. We're eleven kids growing up in Hanover, NH - the home of Dartmouth College.
At one of our usual big family holiday gatherings we have every year, we got to talking about all the people's responses to us when we shared with them that we're from such a large family. Here is a list of our some top picks contributed by my sisters- Julie, Jordan, Jenn, Jessica and Mary Ann:
Julie Sal - One of my favorites is: "Wow! How do you remember all your brothers and sisters names?"
Jordan Sal - Some of the most common responses I get are:
- Are you Catholic?
- All from the same mom and dad?
- Oh my gosh, I don't know anybody with eleven kids
- Oh my gosh, I thought raising five children was a lot!
- Oh my gosh, your poor mom!
- Those big family holidays at your house must be crazy!
- What was your grocery budget?
- Oh my gosh, your mom was pregnant for like nine years!
Jenn Sal - I think the one I hear most is: "She must have really loved being pregnant".
Mary Ann Sal - There is also the popular: "Are there any twins?? adopted?"
And when u say no, sometimes they say "YOUR LYING!!!!!"
Jess Sal - I always hear - "You must be catholic." :-)
What else - "All the same mother?" is another, closely followed by
"your mother is amazing" or when I was younger
"your parents must really like each other/still like each other"
The next questions are:
- Where do you fall?
- How many boys and how many girls?
- What's the age range (how old is the oldest and how old is the youngest)?
I know we're not the only large family who gets a responses like this. What are some other interesting quotes you've heard in response to your big family from friends and other moms and dads in your community?