**Where Is The Extended Family?*

15

**WHERE IS THE EXTENDED FAMILY?* In the early hours of this morning, one of my Daughters, walked up to me and said "Daddy I have a very important request; Can you please build a very big house, where my cousins, my grandma, my aunties and everybody will come and live with us? I want all of us to be living together. Daddy, this is my greatest wish in life. If you can do this for me, I will be the happiest person in the world" That got me thinking because this was the same kind of mind we had while growing up. We grew up loving to see people in a communal setting. Nothing gave us joy like seeing others around. Our parents had little to nothing, but our glow, strength and wealth was in relationships, especially families. The joy of holidays and celebrations still vibrate in my heart. We usually lose sleep to happiness during such seasons because, friends and relatives would be coming home. It was such a delight to see siblings, cousins, nieces, nephews, uncles, aunties, grannies, etc. We shared everything in common. We ate from same plates, shared same cups, bathed together, slept on the same mats, and even were covered with the same clothes at night. We accompanied each other everywhere, including the toilet. One's fight was everyone's fight. One's victory was everyone's victory... Sadly, as we began to grow up, we began to grow apart. We began to raise fences over our once unfenced houses; to imprison ourselves, thinking we were shutting others out. Class, complex, offense, I-am-busy, don't-disturb-me, we-are-not-that-related, excuses etc, began to set in. Today, we've made enemies out of one's neigbours; foes out of families; foreigners out of friends; and witches out of the ones we once considered our true riches. It is now pleasurable to demonise each other behind each other. The children of yesterdays who kept vigil over the joy of seeing each other, are now adults and they don't want to see each other. With everybody ignoring everybody; pretending to be busy and feeling over important. Gradually we've allowed hatred take over our hearts. Family members now keep malice for years over minor or none issues. We have become total strangers to each other as though we did not grow up within the same streets and same neighborhoods. I thought when people know God better, they behave better. But the case of our generation is different. Once children, now adults, they go to places of worship more, and claim to know GOD better. But our behaviours and characters are the worst for it. We have titles on our necks, with no love in our hearts. *Looking so spiritual but acting so devilish* Unforgiveness, anger, *ENVY, 'BIFFING', hatred, SELFISHNESS and the likes, are the fruits we exude everywhere we go* The question is, where is the love? Where is the kindness? How did we get here? Where did we lose grip of what is most important and picked up what is of no importance? How have we become adults and less humans? Who has bewitched us? COLONIALISTS! Its time to go back to our childhood. Its time to love, care and look out for each other as families should. We must wake up and realise that, we are stronger together, better together and will achieve more together. When we come together; we will be healthier, live longer, and leave better memories with each other than against each other. If and when God ask us: Where is thy brother I hope that you will be ready with a good answer. *LOST EXTENDED* *FAMILY!*

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