Eland Family Charter

Dear Adeline,

Your mom and I sat down a few months ago to define who we desire to be as a family. This may change, but for now here is the Eland Family Charter:

  • We are a whole-hearted family who is defined by truth & principle instead of cultural expectation.
  • We pursue compassion, connection and honesty in our relationships.
  • We are flexible, creative, playful and imperfect.
  • We are a family of adventurers who embrace mystery and face down inevitable failure.
  • We treat misfortune as opportunities to learn about ourselves and to mature. We also use misfortune to find deeper connection with others. We are not a coalition of self-sufficient islands. Rather, we are a family that asks for help.
  • Conflict is inevitable. When we fight, we do so fairly and respectfully. We relinquish the need to be right and pursue the higher goals of empathy and steadfast commitment. In an argument, we immediately respect the desire of anybody who needs to step away in order to come back later.
  • We commit to physical health. As such, we eat healthy food and seek regularly exercise. Our spiritual, mental and emotional health is directly connected to our physical well-being.
  • We let all members of the family explore their individuality. We don’t corner each other into specific family roles but enable each other to pursue passions and talents.
  • We each commit to the best of our ability to take responsibility for our own thoughts, emotions and actions. We acknowledge that we cannot control what happens to us but we can control our responses.
  • We recognize that we deeply affect one another. We support each other through hard times, but ultimately don’t expect any family member to be the ongoing emotional caretaker of another person in the family.
  • We will hurt each other. Because of this, we value forgiveness and grace. Forgiveness never feels fair – there is always a cost to forgive another person. We don’t exact retribution or hold grudges.
  • We are profoundly imperfect people and will struggle to follow this charter.
  • We choose faith
  • We choose hope
  • We choose love


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