I briefly touched on this a few weeks ago, but this week's entry is going to be an extension of your support group, particularly, your family. Depending on your age, your circumstance, or even life events, the word 'family' will have different meanings.

Growing up, I remember being very family-oriented, and having the most supportive parents I could ever ask for. My parents taught us how to be kind, patient, gentle, and of course how to share - we're a big family after all! Even in school, I'd look out for friends, waiting for them to have our recess breaks together to waiting outside the toilet, and that general selfless giving has always been around me. During my secondary school days, my friends and I would hang out after school and play some basketball, and we'd take turns to get bottled water for everyone, sometimes even 100plus or H2O. And if you look at us, we don't exactly look like the kindest of people, but I know that my friends have really big hearts - really goes to show you can't judge a book by its cover! Till today, they are some of my best friends and I cherish them for all the friendship, fun, laughter, sadness, and tears we have been through with each other.

I know - best friends and immediate family members are very different when put side-by-side, but who says friends can't be considered family? The only difference is that you can choose the former, but not the latter. Of course, that there are no two families that 'operate' in the same way I grew up. Some families are privileged and some aren't at all. Some families appear to be great role-models, but behind closed doors are far from it. Some may be struggling on a day-to-day basis, but have the most unbreakable family bonds. Then there are also other implications and issues that affects the family unit - single-parent families, kids whose parents are divorced, even parental/spousal abuse. And then there are entitled families.. no, people who think they are entitled - read this article. We all have a different notion of what 'family' means and some may even resent it in their current frame of mind. And while I wish that those who resent it can experience the love and warmth I have and am still receiving, I can't change any those circumstances. So instead, I turn inwards and start with my family.

Having grown up and being surrounded in lots of love and support, I aspire to do the same for my growing family, to be great role-models for them and to lead by example. I believe that love, care, and empathy, when shown to those around us (strangers included) make the world a better place and us, better people. And it really comes down to taking care of our lawn first before looking outwardly. Even while writing this, I think of the Pay It Forward movement and the love it can bring to people. We can choose our friends and people around us, but we can't choose our immediate family members. Still, we have the power and decision to the way we treat one another, and I hope 'Love' is the choice (but not to the point of harm as written in the article linked above). Because, at the end of the day, it doesn't matter how much I work, how much I practice, how well I play, or how much I know - all of these don't matter in the grand scheme of things. Ultimately, my family matters most because they have gotten me to where I am now, and I intend to reciprocate that love shown to me.

I preempted an announcement last week, but here's announcing that the announcement will come out on June 17th - the next post for #midweekthoughts (even though it's the weekend hahaha). I would love to hear from you below or in private messages, and as always, be safe and well. Thanks for reading!