“It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. Bring love into your home , for this is where our love for each other must start.”
“The way you help heal the world is that you start with your own family.”
The above are two of the most profound quotes Mother Theresa of blessed memory ever made and for good reason – they are both very true!
Personally, I believe the only thing worse than not having a family is having a disjointed, disoriented and divided one!
That said, what then is family or, better put, who is family? This is where most of us get it wrong. Nine out of ten people think family is what you get after mum and dad have come together and fertility rears it’s productive head. I think family is whoever treats you like family. Whoever you find family in is family.
The good book says ‘a man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother’.
You see, family is whoever sticks close….everytime.
This is what the world lacks. This is the lack that makes the world sick.
Some families are not bridges. They are fences, the type you’ll only find in a place like Kiri-Kiri.
They restrict you, restrain you and limit your movement. You can only grow within its limit. Those who make up such families block each other instead of making a way for each other.
Someone I know once told me something very sad; she said she wasn’t sad that her family won’t help her, she was sad that people of goodwill won’t help her because of her family.
You see, family is a double edged sword; when it is good, the world around you is good and vice versa.
How many people are divorced or unmarried today because of their families?
How many people have reputations that are not consistent with their behavioral antecedents because of the surnames they have?
If you want to know how important a thing is, find out what both God and satan feel about it – it works every single time. Why is satan so interested in divorce? Why is the entire concept of marriage changing before our very eyes? Why do we have churches joining men with men in matrimony?
Nowadays, we have families so disjointed, siblings live in the same cities without as much as a phone call to each other in years.
That isn’t family. That is just biology.
This is the reality of many people out there yet they’re all over the city showing love to other people, being “best uncle” to other people’s children, yet they may not have met their 10-year-old nephew.
Little wonder the world is as sick as it is today!
First of all, our understanding of family is wrong at best. At worse, it’s utterly misleading; restricting us to the biological definition of the concept of family and ultimately stopping us from meeting our ‘true’ family in some occasions.
Who did this kind of thing to us? Who?
When did family turn from being the creator of the larger society to becoming it’s destroyer?
I think it was when we forgot what Mother Theresa keeps reminding us about in her timeless truths. When we decided to trivialize the power and beauty of family. When we narrowed the span of it’s reach to biology.
Family is blood but beyond that, family is love and love is activated by giving. Giving time, resources, energy, affection and hope…..everytime!!!
That, to me, is family. Whoever gives you that and receives same from you is your family.
You see, showing me a ‘family’ photo and identifying the images within the photo won’t make a me good family member. Showing me the responsibility that comes with being a brother, uncle, nephew, cousin and instilling in my heart the virtues to live up to those responsibilities will change the whole narrative.
Family should never be a noun. It should be a verb. It must be a verb!
Family is bound together by the most important spiritual currency – Love. Love is action. Love is sacrifice and sometimes, many times, sad as it is, love is bitter-sweet but even so, love conquers all.
Family love or the lack of it is why the world is sick!
Family love or the lack thereof is why many people we think are good are not in God’s eyes.
I saw a Nollywood movie once. A man went to join secret society for wealth. They told him he will have all the wealth just as long as he doesn’t share with his family. Question is why? What are you rich for if your family is to remain poor? Why do you think that is all that matters to the cult?
I’m a preacher of love but sometimes I get tired. My congregation knows I’m a man of few words so let me close with this; pray for your family. Love them truly. Help them. Give them money. Support them. Don’t get tired of them. Don’t envy them; its akin to being envious of oneself; you’d fail every time. If you don’t have money and you need support from your family, don’t feel entitled. Be humble about it. You don’t even need money to love. The world does not even revolve around your poverty.
Remember that you can’t truly love yourself if you don’t love your family and hidden hatred exists in more families than we care to admit. This much I know to be true by the spirit of wisdom; that family is everything. Mother. Father. Brother. Sister. Aunt. Uncle. Cousin. Niece. In-law. Kinsman. Friend. These people are everything.
la famiglia è tutto
Familiar lo es todo!
Credit; Sesugh Unde