Image: Marie Vonow
One of my all time favourite movies is the Australian movie, ‘The Castle’. I love the way the family members support and openly praise each other. They enjoy the little joys in life and express gratitude. They value their friends and the community of which they are a part.
Darryl is a happy person and this rubs off on his family. One could ask why he is happy. Darryl doesn’t have a prestigious job and it isn’t high paying. His hobby is greyhound racing, not sailing a yacht. His car is basic transport, as are the other cars in the backyard.
Their house isn’t fancy, in fact it’s pretty ordinary. The additions will probably never be completed. Most would say it was in an undesirable location as it is next to the airport. There are also some health issues including the house being built on toxic soil and being under power lines. (I wouldn’t want to live there.) However, to Darryl Kerrigan and his family it’s their castle.
The family is part of the community of the street. The neighbours support and value each other. There is no prejudice against those from other cultures. Age and marital status don’t matter to them. They club together when there is a problem.
Darryl praises each member of the family for their ‘achievements’ no matter how small. Yes, we all laugh at the line, ‘I dug a hole,’ but Darryl never ridicules his family. When daughter Tracey graduates from TAFE Darryl is so proud.
Darryl praises his wife’s cooking, even if the meal is basic. He also encourages his family to appreciate Sal’s cooking and the crafts she makes. The appreciation Darryl and Sal show for each other sets a great example for the rest of the family.
The family stick together. One of the sons, Wayne, is in jail but he is still considered part of the family and is visited regularly. Some may say he should be ostracised to show breaking the law is unacceptable and excuses like getting in with the wrong crowd shouldn’t be made for him. Perhaps Wayne is more likely to ‘go straight’ because he has the love and support of his family. I don’t know if that is so as I am not a psychologist, it’s just a thought.
They do activities together. It may be something as simple as sitting down together to watch, ‘Hey, hey it’s Saturday,’ and laughing together. They enjoy weekends away to Bonnie Doon as a family.
The family make a big deal out of exchanging presents. These presents aren’t expensive and others may think the gifts lack ‘taste’. The Kerrigans appreciate hand made gifts. All presents are exchanged with love and are valued by the family. Isn’t that what presents should be about?
What makes the Kerrigan’s happy?
• Darryl is a positive role model.
• They have gratitude for everything they have
• They value their family and praise each other
• The family does things together
• They support each other through thick and thin
• They are part of their local community
While we may see humour in Darryl’s simple approach to life, he is a happy person. He expresses appreciation and gratitude for his family, friends and humble house. Much can be learnt from Darryl Kerrigan’s approach to life.