April 10, 2013 by Liberty
Politics is a silly game that people play. I consider family to be significantly more important than any political discussion. The people that you spend your life with mean everything. Anyone that’s had a bad job with a great community should understand this. I loved working at some places where I got paid virtually nothing but I’ve hated working at places when I got paid more than I could have imagined before. The people that you get to surround yourself with, is the quality of your life. That’s why I’m a strong advocate of focusing on a voluntary family.
I’m not a people person but people still seem to always be the deciding factor in my decisions.
Some people find that the time they spend with their family is painful. This could come from a number of different reasons. Some people have been abused while others just find their family rather unpleasant to be around. I understand that one. I just wanted to take this chance to introduce you to a concept that you might not be familiar with. You should aim to forget about biological connections and focus instead on a voluntary family.
What is a Voluntary Family
I consider a voluntary family to be the people that you want to spend your time around. You do not need to consider your biological family in this and you can include people that aren’t related to you. These are the people that you should surround yourself in life with. Everyone else, in my opinion, should be treated like acquaintances. Have horrible parents? Then don’t go to Christmas dinner with them. Find the people that you like and spend time with them.
This can sound awfully cruel but it’s one of the best things that you can do for people.
Adult relationships are voluntary. If you don’t really want to go then you don’t have to. You shouldn’t go and lie that you want to be there. If you can enjoy yourself more somewhere else then you should be there. Let the guilt go. You are not obligated to go to anything that your biological family tells you to.
The Odd Thing About This
As soon as I picked up this mentality, I realized that I spent more time with most of my family afterwards. It wasn’t necessarily the same time as they wanted but I actually enjoyed their company more. I was able to cut the people and times that made me feel like crap out of my life and I had more time for the people and times that made me happy.
It turned family time into a pleasurable experience instead of a painful one.
Don’t Be Mean About It But Don’t Force Yourself To Suffer
This isn’t to say you should yell at your family and curse them out of your life. This is just realizing that you don’t have to give people the emotional energy that you do. While religious individuals might disagree with this, from a logical perspective, there are very few advantages to being around your family in adulthood. Sure, they can provide you support but so could the voluntary family relationships that you build.
You have nothing to feel guilty about when cutting people out of your day to day worries. If they’re making you suffer and you’re both adults then you have the responsibility to stop spending time with them. Family is a beautiful thing when it’s voluntary. It’s a rather disgusting and unpleasant thing when it’s not.
The Hitler Rule
“Would you love them the same if they were Hitler?”
So, if Hitler was your brother, would you love him? That sounds a little harsh for most people but it can help you understand the real basis behind a voluntary family.
It is okay to adjust how much you care about someone based on external factors. Those external factors define part of who they are. If John has an Uncle that’s Anti-Gay and John is gay then John can dislike his uncle. Many people understand this logically but fail to apply it to their own life.
Parents are usually some of the hardest relationships to deal with. Adult children say, “but their my parents. I have to…”
That’s not the way to think about it. There is no ethical obligation there.
Instead ask, Did your parents provide you the courtesy that they’re asking from you?
If they didn’t come to your little league games and you asked them to then you shouldn’t feel obligated to join their dinner if they asked you to.
If they made sure you were fed every night then you might feel some reasonable obligation to make sure that your parents can eat. (This could easily be argued against considering your relationship with them isn’t voluntary on your part.)
These are reasonable ethical decisions that can be made when you take the normal “Family above all” belief out of your life.
A voluntary family is one that loves each other for who they actually are, not based on the luck of the draw. We don’t select our family but we do decide who we’re going to be. The same goes for everyone else. I may be using the term voluntary family but the more you forget about using the word family, the better of your decisions will be. Family is a loaded word for most people. There is a lot of guilt that people are taught to endure. When you choose to take control of it and focus on the people that care about you, and the people that you care about, you begin to understand the importance of those people.
Focus on your voluntary family. Not your biological one.