It’s All Relative(s)

Last night, one of my Dad’s younger brothers tried to have a talk with me concerning ‘my future’. It’s too lengthy and diverse and definitely too tiresome to be recorded verbatim, but the gist of it was Responsibility. No, that wasn’t a typo. The way he said the word, it deserves a capital.

Being the eldest son of an eldest son in a Christian Batakese family, it’s apparently time for me to receive the values that ‘the family’ (just like the Mafia but a lot less cool. Instead of loaded guns, loaded questions are thrown around) holds and to eventually pass them on to my descendants. These values cover Moral Conduct, Familial Obligations, and Religious Beliefs (again, deliberate capitals). It is my Responsibility to ensure that those values stand and will still stand even well after I’m gone.


To avoid unnecessary drama, I nodded agreeably and made noises of general assent. I did try to assert my opinions on the matters for several times but halted because I felt that they would fall on deaf ears. Although to be fair, he was nice about it and accomodated as much as his capability and capacity allowed.

Still, people will believe whatever they choose to believe and that’s their right. I respect that in the hope that others would extend the same courtesy to me. However, people don’t always play by the same rules and ‘you get what you give’ does not always apply.

So I did what I could. I listened when I had to and spoke when I should. As much as I hate telling people what they want to hear even though I didn’t mean it, I did. Just because.

Ah, family. You can’t choose them, but damn it sometimes I wish I could.


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