Family doesn’t necessarily have to be your blood-related relatives. I like to think that family is anyone that is close to you that looks after you and cares for you. You could use the word ‘family’ to describe your club, your group of best friends, or anyone, really. In All Quiet on the Western Front, Paul and the group of soldiers he is with during the war are considered a family. They’ve seen and faced harsh and emotional situations and want to preserve whatever life they can. They would all die for each other because that’s all they have right now. They’ve grew to become an Ohana.
Lilo & Stitch, a Disney animated show that takes place in Hawaii, explains the meaning of Ohana as in the gif above. The soldiers in All Quiet on the Western Front have learned Ohana through the experiences they shared together. They look out for each other and live the last moments of their lives together. The relationship they have is esprit de corps. It’s the spirit of their group. The relationship they share is a higher than family. They have all gotten to the point where they just want to hold on to life and hold it close to them. Imagine being in a war at age 19. Imagine throwing away your future so you can protect what or who you love. Imagine knowing you could die any day. That was their lives every day and they tried to cherish every moment of it.
Just knowing you have family (blood-related, adopted or intentional) in your life and friends makes you one of the luckiest people in this world. Family and friends are what shape you as a human being. They are there to care for you, help you, and provide you with essentials including moral support. I’d be nowhere without my family who have given me so much and made my life enjoyable and being a young teenager, I know there is much more of my life left (I’m hoping) and that’s when I will repay them for what they’ve done for me. My friends, or my intentional family, are also a big part of my life. They’ve accepted me and my personality and encouraged me to continue to be myself. They are the ones that give me that moral support every day. We’re all an Ohana and always will be.
Soldiers who fight in war or go overseas don’t know if they’ll be coming back to support their families or even see them. People who have families, friends, and even enemies are lucky. Their family and friends are there to care for you and your enemy cares enough to try and make you miserable. Everyone needs to find their Ohana and hold on to it tight. So if I were you, I’d go and celebrate the cruel, unfair existence that makes you a human being with the awesome people you were blessed with.
Family is something worth being happy for.