“If relatives help each other, what evil can hurt them?”
Someone may say, well even if I help my family evil people out there can still hurt us, if they choose. But such thought would stem from a misunderstanding of the proverb. The catch word is ‘relatives’. Truth be told, we are all relatives: related to another by common descent. They say blood is thicker than water, but I say love is thicker than both. Love is the foundation of all virtues. Thus, the opposite of love is not hate. The opposite of love is all vices. Because in the absence of love, any vice is inevitable. We cannot afford to sit on the fence. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing” (Edmond Burke). Further more the word ‘relate’, out of which we get the “relatives”, means to understand or sympathize with something or someone. And that provides further clarity on who our relatives are. They are the people who don’t just ask how are you and walk away but actually pause to listen to how you really are. They are those who even when they don’t have material things to give, they give their time, encouragement, attention and respect, honesty and loyalty. There is an Akan proverb that says, your relatives are not those who send you their best wishes but those who actually visit you. There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. And there are brothers who are worse than enemies. But when relatives help each other, they are able to hurt evil.