August 22, 2014

Uncle

An uncle is a relative, specifically the brother of a child’s father or mother or the husband of an aunt. An uncle could be an uncle by blood or an uncle by marriage. The children in the relationship are called a nephew and niece. However, how uncles are related doesn’t matter as much as the value an uncle can bring to a family.

In this age of distant families, having an uncle is becoming less common. The extended family that used to dominate the entire world has given way, at least in the United States and Europe, to the nuclear family. While not a problem, this means that many children have very little contact with aunts, uncles, and other relatives.

This is sad since many kids throughout history have made great memories of a favorite uncle or aunt. An uncle can give another perspective to children than their parents. Also, the uncle can earn a child’s trust in a way that parents cannot. Thus, many people have childhood memories of cool uncles who taught them lessons about life.

Growing up, my favorite uncle was Uncle Terry. I always liked the way Uncle Terry ran his business. My Uncle Terry taught me the value of money and how to make it honestly and with integrity. My parents didn’t run a business, so they couldn’t speak to that topic like my uncle. I also had an Uncle Bert who told me about the birds and the bees when my mom and dad would not, at least not in honest terms!

The role of the kind uncle is found in the media. In the Wizard of Oz, Uncle Henry acts as a father figure for Dorothy and treats her with love and kindness. However, the evil uncle can be found in the media too. This uncle image is seen in the Who’s Tommy where the wicked Uncle Ernie abuses poor Tommy. Sadly, some nieces and nephews know this kind of uncle in real life, not just through famous examples.

I hope that every kid would have the pleasure of knowing a favorite uncle and want to make sure that my sons see their uncle regularly to learn from him. I hope my children will reminisce with fondness on their favorite uncle the way I look back fondly on Uncle Bert and Uncle Terry. Sadly, with so many families separated by distance or economics many little ones will never know loving uncles. Why not get a gift for uncle today as a sign of your love and appreciation? Maybe you could even write an uncle poem.

If you have a great uncle, why not leave a comment and tell the world about him? You can click “post to Facebook” and show your friends list how much you value your uncle.

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