Seven things Family can teach you

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Ever wondered what it’d be like if Jay-Z was your brother? Like really, what would conversations have been like growing up?

Me: Aye boy, your nose so big, you could smell d labasse from Icacos.

Jay: Steups. Haterz. Doh worry. When I grow up, everybody’s going to want my nose.

Me: Ha ha ha ha. In your dreams! Your nose so big, that when you were born, the doctor asked Mommy if she had a jep nest in she belly.

Jay: Mommy!

Me: Ha ha ha. Mom said when she was having you… you used to smell her food before she ate it.

Jay: MOM!!!!

Me: As a matter of fact, your nose so big that when you took your first breath, you put the vacuum industry out of business.

Jay: Whatever… When I grow up, I’m gonna be the hottest rapper ever, be really rich, and marry the most bootylicious woman in the world.

Me: Yeah she’s gonna have to be crazy in love to be with you!

Jay: Nobody’s gonna have swagger like me. Man… I’m gonna be richer than Diddy from round d corner.

Me: Hey. We gonna stick together on that ride to the top, right bro? Big nose and all?

Jay: Fuh shizzie. I takes care of my peeps yo.

Now this dialogue may really be the result of my idleness, but it teaches you a few things.¬†Family might tell you what they want, and rub your insecurities in your face, but at the end of the day they’ll have your back, support you in achieving your dreams, and take good care of you. Hell! Jay sent me a pimped out Almera just last week.

The point is, barring that you have a ridiculously dysfunctional family unit that hates you, irritations aside, family will always be there for you, and are probably the only people who will love you unconditionally. So here’s a list of a few things that your family will always do for you.

1. Tell you the truth and call you out on your ish

I’m a cranky woman when I wake up on a morning. Tell me good morning and keep it moving until I thaw out. Hey, you’ll can understand that right? Who isn’t cranky when they just woke up? However, when I’m cranky and wide-awake, oh yeah my fam will tell me when I’m behaving a little off. Does it change much? Not really. But they’ll tell me when to catch my falling self, and love me anyway. Whenever I need to know the areas I need to improve upon, I can count on my fam to tell me. Point: Family calls you out on your mess.

2. Show what ‘ride or die’ really means

I’ve got to admit. I absolutely love watching “Keeping up with the Kardashians”, “Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami”, and whatever other show the Kardashians take over. Their craziness aside, you’ve got to admit they’re a pretty tight bunch. Mess with one Kardashian, you mess will all.

Family is much like that. Your family doesn’t have to be the Brady bunch to offer a supportive structure. You don’t even need to be as thick as thieves. When things go badly, they’re the ones you can really count on to have your back, and when your friends duck you (unless of course they really, like really, hate you).

3. Teach you to respect your elders… and yuh boss

At times our parents will do stuff that gets us a little miffed. We might give some attitude, or say a few things, but never ever would we dream about cussin’ our parents. In a West Indian home, that could cost you your left jaw and some molars. That positively or negatively enforced rule bodes well in the workplace, when you dream of telling your boss where to go stick it, but instead you smile sweetly and say, “Yes boss”.

4. How to succeed and avoid some of life’s potholes

You don’t always have to learn everything on your own. That’s why you have older siblings. When they fall, you learn where not to step. When they succeed, you get a roadmap to guide you to your dreams. Now, if you’re the first child, that’s too bad. Still, that’s where aunties, uncles, grandparents, and cousins come in. They help to whip us into shape when our parents’ lectures enter one ear, and giddy-up out the next.

Now, if you have a dysfunctional family, you mightn’t be so lucky. A guy who sells drugs on the block may well encourage his younger siblings or cousins to sell drugs too. Who doesn’t want a family empire? However, that’s where great Spike Lee films, poorly scripted Tyler Perry flicks, and totally awesome Batman cartoons swoop in to show you the light.

5. Tell you what you really look like

If your mirrors or friends lie to you, and won’t tell you when you look a hot mess, your family definitely will. Ever since Rihanna burst onto the international scene, the blogs have been having a field day with her forehead, but does that bother Rihanna? No, because she has cousins who told tell her she had a big forehead from the time she could understand what a forehead was. Same with Jay… and his nose (and now you know why they’ve bonded so well).

Which brings me to my next point.

6. Family will help you to withstand outside pressure

Stressed at work? Got drama going on? Family will give you the moral support and pick-me-ups to help you weather through it. Remember when they had that fiasco years ago with that pretty, young girl (I’m not calling any names), and Akon (ooops, I just did), and people were like, “But her daddy is a pastor. If I was him…”

Seriously, did they expect the man to join the rest of Trinidad and Tobago in publicly tearing down his daughter? I imagine he would have had a serious chat with her, but when the outside world is tearing down your own, you’ve got to support them. This goes back to number 2 (ride or die).

7. Keep you grounded

Even if you’re a celebrity, your family will always let you know you’re still lil ol’ Stacy who used to run around in knickers after school. Unless they’re seriously money hungry, they won’t pander to your every whim and fancy. Well… unless you’re a huge soca star who the ladies go wild over even though you’re not really that good looking to begin with… but hey, you can push bumper better than anyone else. But still, I’m sure that even if you were a huge soca star who the ladies go wild over even though you’re not really that good looking to begin with… but hey you can push bumper better than anyone else, your family would tell you to get the hell outside if you buss a stink fart.

So there it is folks, just a few of the things family can teach you. Friends may come and go, but family is forever. Plus, they’ll always feed you, even if it’s stir fried, green paw paw and rice, which you really hate.

Anybody got family lessons they want to share? What are some the most important things your family has taught you?


Karel Mc Intosh

Karel Mc Intosh is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Outlish Magazine. She's also the Lead Communications Trainer at Livewired Group, where she conducts workshops in business writing, social media, and other communications areas. A real online junkie, when she isn't surfing the Internet, she's thinking about surfing the Internet. Find out more about her here or tweet her @outlishmagazine.

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