Sunday 9 July 2017

Happy Vs Unhappy Family

Happy Family

I was thinking this morning..... about family and the opening statement in the popular Nigerian comedy show 'The Johnsons' that says, 'We look like a regular Nigerian family, but there is nothing regular about any of us.' It got me thinking about what 'a regular Nigerian family' is. Is it a polygamous or a monogamous family? Is it a happy family or an unhappy one? Is it a peaceful family or one like Fuji house of commotion? Is a regular Nigerian family one made up of a working husband, a full-time housewife and five children living in a 3-bedroom apartment? Maybe, you should tell me.

As we gradually get into the long holiday season with the children returning back from school, I was wondering what makes one family happy and another unhappy. Could it be the availability of wealth in the family or the presence or fear of God? As I pondered on this, I recalled the statement by Leo Tolstoy in his book Anna Karenina that 'All happy families are alike: each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.' Hmm!!!

I know of a family of eight with very limited resources, who during the long holiday, visits the village and have fun eating 'guguru and ekpa.' I also know of a family of four with so much to spare and they travel abroad yearly for vacation. Trust me, they are a happy family. As I considered both families, I agreed with Tolstoy that all happy families are alike. It is the one big thing, the love of family and fear of God, that makes them happy.

Look around you and Selah (pause and think). You will observe disintegrated families, squabbling families and unhappy families. You will even find '5 by 8' families. Okay, I am not referring to a family that sells 5 by 8 inches-sized plywood. Rather, the term '5 by 8' was a description given to a couple I was told about years ago that was so unhappy with themselves that they got intimate only 5 times in 8 years of marriage. Wow! you will say, and if you want to be a typical Nigerian housewife like Emuakpor Johnson of the 'The Johnsons' comedy show, you will be pardoned if you shout 'akpooorrr.' Lol.. If you think deeply, you will agree with Tolstoy that 'All happy families are alike: each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.'

While happy families are happy for one reason, love of family, the unhappy ones are so because of many different reasons. One family may be unhappy because of money, another because the wife cannot cook and yet another because the husband snores. You will read about a family with friction because the wife is fat and another falling apart because the children are not as smart as their dad.😞

As my thoughts become hazy, I am convinced I must spend quality time with my family this holiday, because I know that the happiest families are not those who have the best things, but those who enjoy life and make the best of what they have. Forget about the little things that can make the family unhappy, and focus on the one big thing that matters, family. Create time to bond with your family this season. Go out with your family, go for worship with them and even farm with them so we can harvest more yam for export. But if for reason of the persistent rain, you cannot go out, at least sit with your family and watch the DSTV Family channel, assuming of course you have electricity.

Happy Sunday.

.....Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey.


  1. Family, family, family, here's another interesting thought from Weymey. The family is the nucleus of every society.

    Happy family breeds a happy society and vise versa. As parents, we should strive to give the best to our families within our available resources. Happiness truly is not a measure of the amount of resources in the family but the love, peace and tranquility that lies herein. If not, why the phrase "The Rich also Cry".

    All families anywhere in the world are similar and at the same time peculiar in their own way. May God give us the wisdom and resources to breed a happy family in our respective homes IJN, Amen

  2. Very nice one Sir.

    Only if people can appreciate that "love of family" then so many squabbles will be taken care of before they degenerate. We must understand that 'it takes all of us to make each of is'.

    A clear understanding of forgiveness is also crucial, because we all err from time to time.


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