I have the privilege of a casual acquaintance with a thoughtful, intelligent man, who is a kind, considerate human being in both private and professional arenas. He demonstrates abiding love of wife, kids and assorted animals. His extended family is something else.
Family: the word encompasses shared DNA, distant connection and life long alliance. Usually, the sentiment behind the definition is generous. We introduce our family as such, claiming them as part of our lives. It is a complicated undertaking.
There are people, sharing my DNA, whom I’d rather avoid so I do. I prefer not to share my time with relatives, who are decent people with opposing personalities. I would not hesitate to help them in times of need. Some family members, behave so badly, that I am embarrassed for them even as I love them. My heart remembers, very clearly, the people they once were.
My closest friends are welcome to use up the minutes of my life as they need them. We don’t always agree but we’re respectful in controversy, united by fundamental similarities and hilarious loyalty.
The confetti of human relationships puzzles me. There are people I am expected to engage, whom I have no interest in at all. There are other people, I’ve never met, who elicit only benevolent wishes for happiness and success. I do not always love my relatives the most.
Rhetorically, I wonder if everyone ignores insufferable family members and quasi-relations. Or do they entertain them with good grace, disregarding terminal stupidity and chronic ignorance? Regrettably, aspirations for improvement have peaked at a plateau in this area of my personal evolution.