Around Father’s day, I asked my grandfather, whom I call Papa Chuck [not to be confused with no-one’s-favorite-pizza-joint Papa John’s], for some general wisdom, not knowing what to expect. Being in a blue mood that weekend, I was looking everywhere for words and diversions that might perk me up or give me a little hope. Rather than receiving some fluffy, wreaking-of-phony advice, he provided me with an important truth–or, more accurately, a few truths–that we often fail to acknowledge:

“Treat your family as if they were strangers.  We’re much nicer to strangers than we are to our family members.  We believe we can say and do anything we want to them, and that no matter how much our words or actions hurt them, we should be automatically forgiven as a result of our relationship.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.  Love (in all its forms) is a delicate thing and needs constant nurturing, caring and respect in order to survive and thrive.   Why we treat the people we love badly and treat people we will never see again (or who have no impact on our lives) with so much more care is something I don’t understand, and am guilty of as most people are.”

Happy Sunday, kids.

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