Once upon a time (not too long ago) there was a man who had a huge, wonderful family and many, many friends, whom he knew personally and loved. One day, the man found Facebook, and discovered that he could keep close contact with his family and friends, which filled the man’s heart with with joy; he lived in a city far from all of them and in this manner, he was updated daily on their comings and goings. Soon, he began to add new friends to his friends list – friends he had never met but who seemed to be supportive and affectionate – and he began looking forward to reading their posts and their comments on his posts.
One day, the most unexpected tragedy overcame him: his beloved companion came down with pneumonia, and after much suffering, died. The man was disconsolate, his heart broken by the sudden loss of his dearest friend; upon hearing the tragic news, his family and friends, both actual as well as virtual, sent their condolences and love, support and commiseration, for his companion was also well-loved by many of the same people.
However, the support of one family member was particularly notable for its lack. In fact, when the man’s Facebook friends and family began to give compliments to the man for his strength and courage, the family member lashed out at the man, criticizing him for considering the words of his Facebook family more important than his real family (not realizing that many of the people giving comfort and advice were actual family members). And behold, this lack of understanding served only to deepen the man’s sadness and depression.
And then, as the man sank deeper in grieving for his loss, a wondrous thing took place. Because of the death of this man’s companion, he was left with grievous financial difficulties and was even faced with the possibility of having to leave the home the two of them had shared for all the time they were together, the place where there were so many happy memories. But, behold: those very people, the “despised” virtual family and friends, silently got together and took up a collection and gave a goodly sum to the man so that he would be able to stay a little longer in the home where the two of them had been so happy.
And now, I ask of you, who was indeed this man’s family?
© 2014 Mary Purpari