“Why Do I Love These People?”

learned that it’s not all rooted in childhood – that in fact, we all have
situations to master as part of a necessary maturation that continues well into
adulthood. A good childhood doesn’t excuse you from needing to learn these

I’ve learned
that you can feel orphaned for years, even if you’re sixty when your parents
die and you have lots of siblings alive.

I learned that
the ambition we have for family today is a new thing, historically (that it be
based on romantic affection and nurturing rather than property), but that
doesn’t mean it’s foolish to think we can have it different, since family has
always been malleable, altered by conquests and occupations, technology and
economic necessity.

I’ve been
reminded that families are the engine, the basic unit, fighting against the
world’s troubles. Families are what drive the great migration of populations,
one sibling or parent at a time. Families have to overcome poverty, they have
to transcend racism, they have to flee oppressive governments and war zones. In Belfast
, a Protestant marries a Catholic. In Cincinnati, a black mother enrolls
her children in white schools. An Afghan family flees the Soviet invasion. A
Chinese family escapes communism."

Po Bronson
Preview of his forthcoming book, "Why Do I Love These People?"

Related link: "What Should I Do With My Life?" by the same author