On our fridge is a faded letter of love for our family.

It was written by me and our two sons, aged six and eight, after I’d been to a parenting workshop at their international school in Jakarta. 

On a scrap of red paper, we declared what our family life should look like, signed our names and put it up in the kitchen for all to see. It’s our manifesto and it’s been with us for fourteen years, across three homes and two countries.

Sadly, the silver ink is beginning to fade so the words are hard to read. It says…

In our family, we believe:

 – We should treat each other with kindness and respect 
 – We should TALK to each other, not yell or whinge.
 – We should actively LISTEN to each other.
 – We should be SAFE all the time
 – We should have FUN sometimes
 – We should do things for ourselves when we can
 – We should be responsible for our actions

We’ve all signed it and drawn our faces. Quinn, the youngest, put in his own addendum: No teasing. Youngest siblings would understand.

This simple manifesto is the foundation for who we wanted to be as a family. 

A manifesto shows what values and purpose actually look like in action. It can be the foundation tablet on which businesses, as well as individuals, etch their intentions.

And as my boys and I found, it shows who we can be on our best days. 

What might your own manifesto be?