Families are the building blocks of the greater society in which we live and foundational to our survival, growth and evolution. I am writing to introduce you to my work as a legal counselor to families and to initiate continuing and deep dialogue around ideas such as what constitutes a family in current society, the relationship among money, values and wealth, and evolving attitudes and values reflected in the laws impacting families.
Legal Issues Reflect
We are living during a period of deep change affecting people and societies.
• The earth’s atmosphere is warming, resulting in changes that are destroying the world’s habitat and affecting the production of food and supply of water.
• Governments are in need of resources for growing numbers of people living well into their 80’s and 90’s. At the same time, economies are not supporting full and meaningful employment for rising generations of younger people and recent immigrants.
• There is a heightened sense of urgency in business and reliance on bottom-line approaches.
• Families are under stress managing a multi-decisional everyday life with less time for meaningful, uninterrupted time together.
• Individual privacy has been deeply eroded with the result that our public and private lives are increasingly blurred.
With all of these challenges, opportunities for growth are emerging. Neuroscience, cognitive sciences, medicine and allied disciplines are helping us to understand how interconnected and interdependent we truly are, as members of our families, as a species, as well as with the world as a whole. Local communities are coming together with an emphasis on ecologically sustainable lifestyles, local food sources, and culture. Large parts of the developed world have profoundly greater compassion for and acceptance of an array of alternative lifestyles. Companies are flourishing with values and culture founded on the interdependent system of family, community and business.
Laws and their interpretation are evolving to reflect these changes, deeply affecting people, their families, businesses, and philanthropy and social enterprise.