Scallywag

Human beings are the only creatures on earth that allow their children to come back home.

~ Bill Cosby ~

We Are Family

January 15th, 2013 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 22 secs

Family means we belong.

You are somebody’s daughter or someone’s son and you will always be part of a family.

Even if you are an orphan, someone gave birth to you, and for whatever reason, they couldn’t care for your daily needs. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t love you. Maybe, they just weren’t up to doing it well enough.

It’s a childhood fantasy, many of us share, that we were secretly adopted (surely, you didn’t come from your real family). Then, one day, you realize that, for all your differences, your blood is the same.

For everyone who has ever felt despair at the loss of a parent, know that they would want you to go on and do more than they ever could. Never mind the relationship difficulties lingering in your memory – they aren’t the issue. In the big scheme, your family’s ancestors would have only wanted the best for you.

Maybe you’ve raised your own babies, and now they’re all grown up too. They are your own family. But, like a Russian doll, your family rests within the families you grew up in, and they in turn in families beyond your knowing.

Go back far enough and you discover something wonderful. The dividing lines of family blur. Your neighbor distantly shares relatives with you from some ancient past. So too the people who look so different to you, and even those living halfway round the world. Together, they share some of the same ancestors as you do.

Think about that when you next walk down a city street and wait for a light change at a busy intersection. All those people – that mass of humanity – are actually family.

We tend to focus on our differences and that’s natural enough. But giving equal share to what we have in common changes the playing field. We are not adversaries or enemies. We are family.

True, you have that awful relation you’d rather not mention. Well, in your greatly expanded family, there are quite a few of those too. As in every big family, some people are just plain trouble. But mostly, the rest of your massive family are more than happy to get along if we show that we care about them as well.

Not that it’s all a lovey-dovey situation. Far from it. But then, that’s the reality of family. Relationships take effort and time, besides which, they’re complex.

Yet, if you treat people well, as part of your massive family, then walls break down. Kindness makes more sense, and you can consider variety part of the spice of a grand family life.

For some of us, that thinking shift is so minimal it’ll be invisible. But for others, the idea that we are part of one gigantic family is radical. That the lady on the bus you see most days is kind of like your long, long, long lost aunt or cousin puts an interesting twist on things. Instead of being afraid or indifferent, we can begin to see the commonality of humanity, and realize that despite all the many differences we share a mutual heritage and great many needs. Underneath all the exterior stuff, a common thread that spans throughout time binds us. Whatever we are or we’re not, have or lack, we live on this world together: as family.

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Feegs

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