Friends & family

Hey so i was wondering.
Who’s family?
Who are friends?

No we are not talking about the ‘family & friends’ scam from networks like MTN.
We are talking about actual people.

To be honest, a very thin line exists between family and friends. the key is who is actual family and who is a real friend.

I didn’t write this but a friend did and he has decided to remain anonymous.
I will call him the “Ghost Writer” from here on.
I give you family and friends. Enjoy.

The concepts of “friend” and “family” are concepts which have confused me greatly, and have effectively done so since I was about 13 or 14 I’m closer to 30 than I am to 21 now! (yes, those who are close to me will tell you I’ve long had a roving, abstract mind) but its not the definitions of these words that have had me scratching my head for so long, oh noooooo, its more the application to everyday life that’s got me looking for the real me in one of those house of mirrors thingies.

Now if we’re meant to go by the definition of “friend” in the Oxford learners’ advanced-“one who we know and like but is NOT OF THE FAMILY”– then that guy/girl who has always been there for us, picked us up when we were down, shared everything with us, never questioned us even when he/she knew we were lying, had our backs when stones were being flung at us, BUT was not birthed by our mother or does not fall under those ‘conventional’ links that link you to the proper definition of the word ‘family’, can only be a friend. This, suo moto, is acceptable.

Then we have the word ‘family’, defined by the same source to include the “parents, children and their close relatives” and if we’re to go by this definition, then you may begin to see where my confusion takes route from. What I understand here is that the brother who stabbed and killed me, the father who raped my sister, the mother who abandoned me, the uncle who robbed me of my inheritance, the aunty who prostituted my sister, the cousin who raped my wife, the brother who slept with my wife…….is my family……this also is acceptable? HELL to the freaking NOOOOO.

What my rather slow brain is finding it rather difficult to process (and yes my brain is still trying to process this after about 14-15years) is that friend who did everything my ‘family’ was meant to do and even does everything that my brother does, is not family for the simple reason that he does not fall under that category that we have all come to know and subconsciously accept. In the same vein, my brain is also still trying to process the belief that these members of my family who have done these awful things to me and to other members of my family are placed as family over and above those who have played ‘the family’ in my life simply because of that belief and that awfully inadequate definition, in my opinion and its exceedingly laughable.:D

I mean I know of people who took in total, complete strangers into their families and they lived with them ate their food, they were bought clothes, fees were paid, and for anyone to tell me that, stricto sensu, such people can only go as far as friends of the family can only offend the senses of anyone with a mind such as mine.

I mean why refer to a friend as such when the only difference, in function, between him and your brother is that last name? Some might say I’m taking this a bit too seriously as they are just definitions but “I ask you to think of that situation where u’ll have to pick between one and/or the other individual and u’ll realise it goes far beyond dictionary definition”. If u ever get to that stage where u need to pick and you pick, without thinking, that “friend” over your “brother” then why would u still refer to that person as a friend? I mean you can cleanly and, without conscience, cut off a friend for say sleeping with your wife but a la Ryan Giggs, u’d say?!? *sigh*

Another question has often crossed my mind, at what point do you cut off family? If there is such a point, the saying blood is thicker than water comes to mind, family bonds blah zay……but I think all these muddle ups and confusions are based on what u think, I think you define who family is to you, I have “family” I have not spoken to in well over two years, but I have “friends” that I simply cannot go 3days without talking to and checking up on. I have “family” that I need to remember that passage in the bible (there is nothing special in loving a friend, love those who hate u Matt 5:46) in order to help and there’s friends that I’d die for without giving it a 1st thought, let’s talk less for a second……but look through this entire write up……I’ve fallen prey to the very confinement I complain about haven’t I?……..*sigh*

These are just the inner workings of a forever roving mind, feel free to disregard them everyone.

So thats about that. Thanks to the “Ghost Writer”. I don’t even know what to make of this because i too have similar issues regarding family and friends.. please use the comment box to share your opinion and lets see if we can try and at least get to the roots of this rather delicate issue.


13 responses to “Friends & family

  1. Permit me to say this: FIRST!! And great article which I totally agree with. I’ve learnt not to take the Oxford Learners too seriously (just kidding) but I don’t think our definitions of those two terms should be limited to their definition. And at Femi, you just had to take a dig @ MTN, right? LOL. Good work (Y). Oh yeah, my Gala & La Casera piles up some more!

  2. What a great write-up. Choosing between family and friends aint that easy. I completely agree with the writer. Tho I love my family but my I love my friends more. They are the “bestest”.

  3. Femi and ‘ghost writer’ nice post…buh seriously wud u say,cos a family member stabbed u on ur back,you’ll say ur friend is considerd to be more ‘family’?

    • well not really… but all i implied was that at times friends treat you better than family and that can make you closer to them

  4. Femo and Ghost writer well done… but you can try and write some stories femi…all these deep articles ehn..still thanks for attempting a topic like this

  5. I completely agree that a good part of the time, especially here in Africa, friends are more faithful than family. But I disagree. I disagree that the way family treats a person makes them any less family, especially where you’ve grown up with them knowing them as mother, father, brother, or sister. They may be insensitive, unkind, uncaring, even diabolical and evil family, but they are family nonetheless. Of course we may refer to a friend as family or practically family (especially the kind that sticks around when family doesn’t) but to be honest, for me, without the blood relationship, they never quite fit the bill. But that’s perfectly fine because ah yes ‘….a real friend sticks closer than a brother.’ (Proverbs 18:24)

  6. I can totally relate, I have friends dat I always call my sisters…I guess in d end its d depth of d relationship dat shld determine whether the person is “friend or family”

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