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“You can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family.”

Updated on August 1, 2011
Theres an old adage “You can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family.” I find that to be pretty amusing because I believe that you can, and I do.


At some point in time somebody, somewhere came up with the narrow-minded belief that family is most important because they are your blood or whatever. I am all for family members being more important but in no sense do I believe that you can’t choose who those members are. I am almost certain that there is not one family in this world that is not screwed up in its own way. You can not always depend on these blood relatives let alone even be able to stand them at times.

Even though I believe that you can pick your family, I don’t want it to seem like I am against sticking with the family you were born with. The way I see it is you start off as this bright red apple on your family tree. As time goes by things happen that change the fate of that apple on the tree. You either develop a close relationship with those related to you and you remain that shiny red apple or butt heads with those people long enough that one day that you as the apple start to shrivel up and fall off that tree completely. That’s the point were choosing your family becomes an option.
I am the shriveled-up apple that fell to the ground. I come from a particularly large family and as unfortunate as it is I can only count on one hand how many of those people I am actually close with. The reality is that if any two people are going to have a falling out or be betrayed by one another it is going to be family members. It is more likely for them to be caught in a highly stressful or traumatic situation that would force them to become hostile and tear apart from one another.

From my own experience, it is the people that I am not related to that I am able to get along with best. Not only get along with but be able to trust and depend on. As much as I would love to be able to be close with my ‘blood family’ that is not a possibility for me. Sadly, I have never been on the best of terms with them and though sometimes it is difficult I do my best to never let it get to me. Instead I choose to focus on the few people that I consider my ‘family’ because I am really fortunate to have them in my life.


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      REEK ROY CHOWDHURY 3 years ago

      Hey I am Reek from New Delhi,India.I like your essay a lot.As being a college student i'ts help me a lot. So thank you and best of luck for your future essays................

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      Ronald Harbidge 4 years ago

      This old saying that one can choose ones friends but not ones relatives and also ones neighbours has a family ring with me. Admittedly families don't always get on as there will always be ones that do not like you and visa versa for various reasons. One example could be a past grievance over something said or done which has caused offence which we don't always forget depending on how intense our feelings are . My policy is to keep in touch with the ones you really like but do not stay in contact with the ones you don't get on with.

    • profile image

      Ronald Harbidge 4 years ago

      This old saying that one can choose ones friends but not ones relatives and also ones neighbours has a family ring with me. Admittedly families don't always get on as there will always be ones that do not like you and visa versa for various reasons. One example could be a past grievance over something said or done which has caused offence which we don't always forget depending on how intense our feelings are . My policy is to keep in touch with the ones you really like but stay in contact with the ones you don't get on with.

    • Chuck Bluestein profile image

      Chuck Bluestein 4 years ago from Morristown, AZ, USA

      Well you can choose your spouse and they become part of your family. In fact 2,500 years ago a guy got married and his wife got pregnant. Then he left his pregnant wife to find true happiness. Did he find it? He is he most famous person in the Eastern world. He is Gautama Buddha.

      It is a better story than God having sex with a virgin and giving her a son.

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      SARIN 4 years ago

      GOOD ESSAY

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      GezaKennaIII 6 years ago

      Can't agree anymore!

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      Araceli Hernandez  6 years ago

      You go Nina ! Very well said (:

    • ninacrimaldi profile image
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      Nicolina Kenna 6 years ago

      Ha! I love that quote. Thanks for the feed back!

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      klevifusha 6 years ago

      I felt as if you took the words and feelings right out of my head. Same here, shriveled-up apple. I absolutely agree with you from every perspective.

      This quote pretty much sums up everything I have to say about family:

      "Respect and love for family shouldn't come automatically because you are blood related. That sh*t should be earned." - George Carlin