The most important thing that keeps a family together is the faith of each member that when he or she has something to say, the others will listen. You shouldn't have to yell in order to be heard. You should be able to say, "I went downtown today and I saw these interesting people," and give an account of your day, and others should pay attention. This sort of everyday storytelling is what holds people together. We can endure terrible hardships if we get to tell somebody about them.
Authotitarian fathers get in the way of storytelling, and so do over-anxious mothers and jealous brothers and sisters, but mostly what defeats us is noise and busyness. The people around us deserve our best attention sometimes, and then we have to shut the world out. Turn off the television. Turn off the radio. Don't read the newspaper. Live a smaller life. The television is full of trash, the radio is full of noise and nonsense, and the newspaper is ful of horrors and disasrers and stories about terrible things dine by other people's children -- and all of it an open invitation to be self-righteous; those weren't our children who beat up the old lady and put her in the hospital.
Worst of all, the media tend to remove us from direct experience. When we are fascinated by television and accept ir as realitfy, the real world pales. American children don't want to go on trips to strange places because it will mean missing their favorite show. What a pity.
We have more information than any other people in the history, and we need a little less of it and a little more experience. The terrible danger of the media is their power to diminish our pleasure in the ordinary day, the richness and the goodness of a simple landscape and ordinary small talk and stories.