You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.” — Desmond Tutu, South African social rights activist
Life is an uncertain thing. There’s virtually nothing that you cannot lose, which makes it all precious but doesn’t give you much in the way of security.
Friends and lovers — they can come and go, because those relationships are based on something (a shared interest, a common goal, a feeling of euphoria) that can change or disappear.
Family, on the other hand, is based on blood. It cannot change. It is what it is from the time we’re born until the time we die.
Sometimes it can seem unfair when we have people for family that we’d never consciously choose, or when they hurt us. No one, not even Desmond Tutu, is saying that family is a perpetual basket of sweet-smelling flowers!
What makes family special is that nothing can ever alter the premise of the relationship — you were already born into it. And because that foundation of the relationship is unalterable, there is a security in family that can’t be found anywhere else. When love is shown between family members, it’s the closest thing to unconditional love you’ll find this side of heaven.
With that being said, we shouldn’t take family for granted. We should recognise the importance of those relationships, and we should do everything we can to nurture them.
And even more, we should recognise what we’re taking away from our family when we hurt them.