(This post had nothing to do with the book The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar.)
How important is blood to you? How much would you risk for your own family? If your father was a murderer, would you still care and follow him? If it was forbidden to bury your brother, would you still give him an appropriate burial? If your spouse and father fought, who would you side with?
For all of these questions, you probably answer that it depends on the scenario and the circumstances at the time. Smart, because the real question is not about how much you would risk for your family, but how much your family means to you.
So what is a “family”? In many dictionaries, a family is defined as parents and their offsprings. Let me give you my definition of family. I believe a family can consist of people bonded by blood, or of people who understand and trust each other very well. When we think of a family, we expect a level of familiarity and comprehension between the members. In earlier times, families could consist of whole tribes of people who due to close proximity, know all there is to know about one another. My belief is that your family can be extended to who you feel is closest to and best understands you.
Back to the question. When you live your day to day life, how often do you interact with the other members of your household? If you talk and know one another like the back of your hand, good job, you’re classical. If you don’t, we have a dilemma. Modern day social media and technology has become advanced to a level where distance communication is favored over close communication. At home, do you talk more online or offline? This change in society has created gaps and distance in families. I know of families that can be classified as strangers who simply live near each other. I know families where parents force their children to do things, using the reasoning that without parents, the child[ren] wouldn’t be there. I know of families that don’t see each other face to face often, especially when the children are adults. I also know of families that tell each other everything, but only a handful. In the ancient times, people were more willing to stick to family and talk, because the computer wasn’t even invented yet…
I have doubts about these recent decades and generations. It has came to my concern about the specific lifestyle of teenagers. Surprisingly, a majority of teens come home from school and go to their rooms to do homework or surf the web. They remain in that sacred room and rarely interact with the rest of the house. Sometimes, they don’t know how to make talking to parents comfortable. Furthermore, a number of teenagers come home to no adult supervision, to an empty house. I live in California and looking at the legal age to stay home alone in the USA, I think of how people are leaving their child[ren] home alone younger and younger. Children are becoming more independent and growing up faster, learning they have to care for themselves and think they have no one to rely on.
To add on, I’m not only focusing on families bonded by blood, I also want to discuss friend relations. As I explained above, I believe that friends can be family. I believe that we, as humans, need to learn to understand the people in our lives. How many friends do you have that can list all your favorite things and vice versa? How many friends do you consider family?
We as a society need to address the growing decrease in human interactions and family relations. We as a society need to realize that the bonds of family should remain through even the toughest situations. We as a society need to realize these bonds build and maintain our society. Not only do families influence parts of our character, they are important in helping us gain confidence when we were babies to adulthood to death, not in death but to it. Albert Einstein once said, “I fear the day that technology would surpass our human interaction. The world would have a generation of idiots.” Idiots indeed if we can’t memorize birthdays. Technology is important in our lives and for human advances, but it shouldn’t replace our family. You need to keep your family close. If your family isn’t close, you can still fix your life, because when you finally look up and realize you’re alone, you know you were the one who isolated yourself. When a family member does something wrong, would you forgive and forget, forgive only, or forget about them? Choose wisely, because the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Out of fuel for now,
Thing Two//Jennifer U.
*all captions are original quotes by me.
My song choice for this post: