Friends versus Family – a tug of war?

There is an old adage (origins unknown and perhaps slightly bastardised) ” Your friends you can choose but your family you’re stuck with”.

After a particularly torturous day DH and I adjourned to the garden for some quiet time under a star bedecked velvet sky. An unseasonably hot summery day relieved by a soft breeze we partnered the fireflies in mild mumblings and musings.

A circular path ended in a discussion about friends and family. What determines your level of committment to any relationship? Is a blood connection more important or more binding than one based on common interest? Perhaps more importantly does the parental/filial link create some sort of misplaced feeling of obligation to accept disruption that, if forthcoming from a “friend”, would cause one to terminate forthwith any future interaction?

After a lively debate, liberally fuelled by a cornucopia of tastes from my raid of our local deli who always seem to have something for dinner when i manifest signs of complete dullness, we (or perhaps I – methinks DH caved in to keep the peace) concluded that we (I) bother with people who bother with us. Relationships, irrespective of the connection, are a two way street. The cliche’d give and take is the yardstick – committment and hard work are the building blocks. One cannot be a fair-weather participant in life. Respect and love are not a right determined by any hierarchical structure – they need to be earned.

I did have an eloquent and erudite conclusion to the soapbox tirade but it took a different path while I was trying to find the source of my opening comment. I did however come across this damp-eyes quote ………”Oh, the comfort – the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person – having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.”  ~Dinah Craik, A Life for a Life, 1859

4 thoughts on “Friends versus Family – a tug of war?

  1. Fab, Bandsmoke. It is just so exhausting trying to be what one is not, to please those who probably don’t care anyway. I love that human kindness you refer to, being one of those in whom wheat and chaff are sometimes indistinguishable.

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