In this age of technology and social media that we live in, many of us are friends with our family members on Facebook, despite our better judgement. While this can be a great method for keeping in touch with our family members who live far away, it can also gives them free reign to say whatever they want on our statuses and photos, no matter how awful they might be.
Earlier this week, I had a harsh reminder of this reality when I logged onto my Facebook account to see my dad going at it with one of my friends, and many of his comments were incredibly offensive. As much as I love my dad, he is ultra-conservative, and, unfortunately, can be downright racist.
To say I was mortified was an understatement. I don’t share many of the sociopolitical views that the vast majority of my family harbors, especially when to comes to the question of ethnicity and sexuality.
Sometimes it truly isn’t a good fit for us.
But a Facebook battle between a friend of mine and my dad, where my dad was clearly in the wrong, was uncharted territory for me.
As the ultra-socially-liberal, tattooed, outspoken child of the family, saying I’m the odd-man out in my family is a bit of an understatement. I’ve often felt like I was born into the wrong family, especially in situations like this.
One of the most empowering lessons I’ve learned in life is that you can’t choose your relatives. We don’t get to pick the family we’re born into, and sometimes it truly isn’t a good fit for us. Occasions such as this remind me of that fact and challenge me to rise above.
While I can’t control or change the views of anyone in my family, that doesn’t mean I have to fall into their close-minded and unhealthy ways. Each of us are capable of stepping outside of our circumstance; just because our family seems to share a certain perspective doesn’t mean we have to also.
Plus, the good news is: later in life, as we find partners, we get to choose another, better-suited family for ourselves.