When I think of "Family," especially when in the context of thinking of your work environment as a "Family," I also think of the idea of relationships.
We all have a commonality in the sense that we are united in what we do; we care for human beings who happen to be at a point in their lives where they are experiencing some degree of suffering and need extra support and help.
As a member of this family, and establishing a relationship with each other, it also means that we are called to know and understand each other. Communication, especially in an honest and open manner is necessary for developing trusting and supportive relationships.
Not unlike many other families, our work family has a variety of diversity that helps us see issues in light of different perspectives. Honoring one’s beliefs without judgement helps create an environment that feels comfortable and safe. It also means that dialog can be accomplished, always seeking the truth, and can be accomplished without severing relationships.
Whenever there is family, there can be harmony, and even at times conflict. However, one unique quality to a family is forgiveness. Forgiving someone, and acknowledging that at times we desire forgiveness ourselves, can be a humbling act that not only inspires others, but allows for personal growth, spiritual and psychological.
There is also a quality of responsibility that must be considered when being a part of a family. Each family member is responsible for contributing to the greater goal and mission of the family.
For people who work at hospitals, especially psychiatric hospitals, we have acknowledged and understand that some individuals, at some point in their life, need a little help, additional love, and extra compassion and understanding to help them persevere though difficulty.
These same individuals, who we assist during a time of trial, also play an active role in helping us identify many of the truths that exist in life. Often these truths can only be seen through a participating role in a relationship, and by being a part of a family.