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Family is a bridge to destiny

“FAMILY is not an important thing. It is everything.” These words, by the Canadian author Michael J Fox, are as true today as they were first spoken.
They are as true for a Canadian as they are for anyone else. Family is central to our survival, and it does not matter where we come from or live, or what our status in life is.

On similar lines, Brazilian top-of-the-pile footballer Ronaldinho said of the significance of his family: “My family is everything. I am what I am thanks to my mother, my father, my brother, my sister, because they have given me everything.”
Ronaldinho is right: we are what we are because of our family. Your family is a critical bridge to your destiny.
It might be argued, of course, that some people have made it despite having no firm family links, or despite being rejected or neglected by their family.
That bears some truth, to be sure, but it still does not take away from the fact that we all have a father and a mother.
Whether they are active players or not in our lives is not as critical as the fact that they brought us into the world. We bear their genes, and this has an impact in our life, whether we acknowledge it or not.
The point is we do not choose a family. No, we do not choose to be born. Who your parents are is a matter of destiny, as is the question of who your siblings are.
As Desmond Tutu, the famous South African Nobel laureate once said, “You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.”
Family is a gift of immeasurable value. Which is why, I suppose, George Santayana, the Spanish philosopher, famously said, “The family is one of nature’s masterpieces.”
Who your parents are determines the course of your destiny to a large extent: your race, ethnic identity, where are born, where we live and grow up.
Who your parents are also determines who your relatives, neighbours and friends will be. In a variety of ways, your siblings – if any – relatives, friends and neighbours exert some influence on your life, directly and indirectly.
All things being equal and under normal circumstances, then, we all need family. To start with, we do not choose our parents. Yet our parents have a critical role to play in our destiny.
When we are born we are totally helpless – we are totally dependent on the largesse and care of our parents.
When we become old enough for school, they decide which school to take us to. Which school we go to helps shape our future; it gives us classmates and friends who all influence our life and worldview one way or another.
You are what you are, who you are, because of your family. That is why it is tragic for anyone to reject or neglect their own family.
One of the worst mistakes you can ever make is to live in isolation from family. You still need family now as you did when you were a baby, helpless and totally dependent on your parents.
If you have raised your own family, that is if you are a father or mother, remember this: the decisions you make have an impact on the destiny of your children.
Therefore, think carefully about where you to take them to school, which church you take them to, how you bring them up, which neighbourhood you live in, and the values you impart onto them.
Your decisions could make or break the future of your children.