In this day and age, we’re bound to hear the word ‘peer pressure’ do the rounds often. We’re speaking much against the crumbling institution of family, the fragile relationships between parents and their wards, and the general rebelliousness of the youth against anything their parents advise them.
It’s only natural in such a situation that I heard out many who told me that family was much stronger than friendship.
“Blood is thicker than water” was their favorite pearl of ancient wisdom.
Blood really is much thicker than water, but blood couldn’t last us five days without water. Water is what we’re made of, the very soul of life itself. Just because blood happened to be thicker, doesn’t undermine the importance of water in any way.
Is family really much more important than friends, then?
It’s a tough question to answer, because unlike goods that can be evaluated through raw statistics, human relationships are complex and as a result, much more difficult to evaluate or standardize.
It’s difficult, primarily because both family and friends are important – just in different ways.
Family is what brought us into this world. Whatever we are today, we owe to our parents because they brought us into the world in the first place.
And it doesn’t just stop there.
Providing for the child emotionally and financially, molding their initial behavioral tendencies and other such numerous tasks fall on the shoulders of parents. Parenting is no easy task, and it’s only normal that parents expect children to value them more because they’ve made their sacrifices just to see the kids grow up well.
Friends on the other hand, are our first interaction with real society. Especially in nuclear families, the child gets to interact with so few people before he/ she goes to school. The ability to form strong bonds with people you’re not obliged to love is something remarkable.
You only get one family by birth, but you can choose your friends. And they can teach you a great many lessons. Some can teach you to love and be patient, others can train you to forgive and be wise. Every friend we have ever made is important, because knowingly or unknowingly they welded our personalities into different shapes.
And gave us a thousand wonderful memories in the process.
Our birth environment was, and will always be the foundation. Friends, teachers and every other interaction that we have as we grow up are the building blocks- some are bricks, some are pillars and others may protect you like the very walls of your monument.
A monument is not one if it’s merely a foundation. And any building without a foundation will bow to its own weight no matter how majestic it is.
In the end, we should all achieve a balance. Between loving our family and friends. Between overtly depending upon them for every shred of happiness, and being a person they can be proud of.
Because ultimately, the choice of what to become depends on what we have up our sleeves.