If we have not learned from history and mythology books, from news and current affairs, and/or from friends’ accounts or personal experience, that family relations might sometimes merely be an arbitrary and involuntary designation by virtue of birth, it might be too late.  Perhaps it is to our credit that we still hope that our relatives might turn out to be more righteous or honourable than they really are and that being part of a family clan might actual mean something more meaningful other than just having the same progenitors or the same middle name or last name.  It says that we still have at least an ounce of idealism within us and that we have not given up in our faith in humankind.  It also indicates a valid coping mechanism where we choose to believe what is convenient or comfortable rather than the painful reality which is before us.

In the previous blog post, I have suggested exercising due caution and skepticism wherever the setting might be–and that people who frequent or are part of an order of a place of worship should not be immune to our own discretion and good judgement.  I would like to extend this suggestion towards our relatives.  If people do not automatically become holy by virtue of being part of a religious or spiritual group, it also goes to say that people who are related to us by blood are not automatically trustworthy simply by virtue of being part of the same extended family.  The designation of being part of a spiritual/religious/actual family almost seems arbitrary and moot when it comes to considering whether they are worthy of respect or whether they are endowed with  kind heart.

We all have an instinctive urge for companionship and belonging and it is this primal longing for family which causes us to value blood ties perhaps even beyond what is applicable or apt, given the circumstances.  We must not place our trust, love, and respect on people on people simply because they are considered ‘family’ or simply because ‘blood is thicker than water’ because blood can also be more toxic and is more complicated than water and there must be some discernment when it comes to placing our loyalty on people.  Trust and respect must be earned and perhaps, when it comes to family, there is the tendency to presume innocence until proven guilty, which is fair enough.  However, when the ties that bind extend to continuing betrayal and doubtful intentions and behaviour, there must be some introspection and thought which must be put into the particular situation–it must be considered that beyond kinship, there must be something more substantial within  the ‘ties that bind’ which are love, trust, faith, loyalty, and integrity.

(c) Niconica 2013