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Location: Chicago, IL, United States

Thursday, August 17, 2006

It's All Relative

"You know I've seen a lot of what the world can do...
hope you make a lot of nice friends out there."
~C. Stevens

Family. It's an interesting phenomenon to consider. Most other animals raise their young to a certain age, and then release them out into the wilderness to fend for themselves. However, humans create families out of this cluster of relatives connected by genes and blood. This family provides social, intellectual, emotional, economical and other means of support. Well, if you're lucky, they do. Not all of us are blessed to have a support system created for us by nature. Unfortunately, we don't get to pick our lineage.

Some anthropologists are starting to classify the notion of "blood" metaphorically, and that many societies understand 'family' through other concepts rather than through genetics. I think this concept is intriguing. You see, I don't think family should be limited to those who are biologically linked to you. I think your family can consist of a myriad of individuals.

In my life, I have many people who I consider to be family. I am very close with my biological family and am lucky in that regard. They provide a bedrock that is unwavering and reliable. I can turn to them and I know that they will be there for me.

However, there are other people in my life that I consider to be my family. There are those friends who you know will always be there for you with their unconditional friendship/love. They know everything about you and love you just the same. (You know who you are, and I am eternally grateful. LYLAT.)

Then there are those who support you through your different phases in your life. I call them your "Metamorphosis Friends". They are going through the same situation and understand what you're going through. From college, to living in the city, to working, to law school...they are there for you. And if you're lucky, they'll be there for you as you move onto another stage in your ever-changing life.

I made dinner for some friends the other night. It was a simple affair. We sat around the table and chatted about our day. We shared our disappointments, successes...teasing and laughter ensued. While they may not share my genes, they certainly felt like family to me.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally know what you mean. I, too, have a great family network, which you are right, is a blessing. But I have others in my life who are closer than or as close as family and they were strangers 10 years ago.

In the church, we call it the "body of Christ." We are all family through Him because His spirit is in us.

So, anyway, just wanted to say, "True dat." :)


9/05/2006 5:32 PM  

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