As you probably know, the summer Olympics are currently underway. It seems to me that during this season every four years American citizens feel a little more connected. There is a sense of unity that is particularly high.  It makes us feel like “family.” We are all on the same side.

It is enjoyable to watch the athletes compete who have trained so hard for years. Just for this one moment.

Taking this in has caused me to realize how the Olympics can be an example of operating like a family.

In the Olympics we cheer for the athlete who is from the USA just because we are from the same place. We are going to support them without any other conditions. In a family, we should be willing to support our family member just because they are a part of us.

The Olympics displays a sense of how roles in a family should play out. On Team USA each athlete has their particular sport. Just as in a family we have particular roles. We do not expect a gymnast to play basketball why should we expect a child to act like a parent?

In the Olympic games the participants give everything they have to contribute to the team. They are rewarded for success, yet encouraged either way. In a family success should be rewarded and pointed out. However, a person’s self worth in the family is not more or less because of it.

Enjoy the games and Team USA! Also, build your family into a strong team.

Justin P. Lewis, MA, LMFT