Loving the Near and the Far

Every family has that relative that is more distant than everyone else. I don’t mean just in terms of miles, I mean in terms of staying in touch or spending time with the family. As I talk with people about their lives I realize that every family has a weird aunt or uncle, a distant cousin that no one ever hears from, and everyone has a favorite cousin or relative that everyone loves to embrace. No matter the culture or continent families have the same trials and tribulations across the globe.

This ancient Chinese proverb was hanging in a fast food restaurant. As I stood in line waiting to buy dinner I was struck by the wisdom of these words. It reminded me that we can only control so much, so do what you can and let the rest work itself out. We can nurture the people in close proximity and hope for those who are far away. Other than that, time and distance will work everything else out.

It is not what we control that makes each day worth while, it is where we invest our time, energy and affections. Sometimes people need space to grow up, figure things out, build their own lives and release their inner self with confidence. What we can do is support them and let the distance between us never turn into a wall. If that means loving and caring for the people in close proximity and letting the laws of love and relationships do the rest, then so be it. When the time is right the ones we love will cross the miles and come back into our loving arms. Until then, we can love those who are close and keep our affections and happiness going strong.

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