At the end of a post on choosing family, I thought about adding a “PS: I know everyone’s definition of family is different. Maybe your family treats your horribly. Maybe you can’t have kids. Maybe your friends are your famiy. This post stands in all of those scenarios.”
But here’s the thing: for the right readers, that caveat takes away from the message. It convolutes everything and makes them question themselves. The right readers – you – knew exactly what that word “family” means to you as soon as you read it on the page.
There’s always someone who will be offended by what you say. There’s always another person waiting to be victimized. There’s always someone who sees a reflection of themselves in your work, and they don’t like what they see.
So don’t write that caveat. Don’t backtrack. There’s always a way to qualify, justify, or explain. It’ll never satisfy all of the naysayers and critics. Just say what you mean instead.
Yes, say what you mean and say it with care and kindness and integrity and belief. That’s all we have to give anyways.