About 4 years ago, I used to occasionally have a cigarette after lunch or dinner. When I used to visit my brother, I would make sure that my niece doesn’t see me because I know she loves me so much and I didn’t want her to think smoking is okay.
So apparently, while I would sneak to the balcony to enjoy my cigarette, she would follow me and watch me smoke from behind the balcony door.
Most of my family didn’t know I was a occasional smoker and it is really a stigma in my family to smoke cigarettes, etc.
So fast forward few months, we are at a big family wedding everyone is sitting together having a great time and she looks at me and says :
“I love you auntie. I just want you to know that you shouldn’t smoke because it will make you age and die quickly. Plus you keep hiding in the balcony thinking I wouldn’t see you. So obviously you know it is wrong since you are hiding it !”
I didn’t say a word. My face turned red and I felt everyone looking at me in shock !
Her mother looks at her and says, no your auntie doesn’t smoke, you must be mistaken.
To that she answered : “why are you trying to make me lie, that’s worse than smoking”
Everyone laughed. And I changed the subject immediately!
I no longer smoke and I hope she doesn’t remember.
One of the most precious gifts relatives can give one another is a dose of harsh realism mixed in with love. Hearing that a family member wants only the best for us can provide us with the encouragement we need to make changes that are long overdue. It can be difficult to hear the full implications of our actions spelled out to us, but when someone gives us constructive criticism or makes a suggestion from a place of love and support, it’s usually a good idea to pay attention.
Featured photo credit: Rafika Sarraf/Quora via quora.com