The Family You Make Along The Way


There’s nothing like family to share the joys and challenges of life, but family doesn’t always have to be genetically related. This is a fundamental philosophy of the Village Retirement Group.

So many of our village residents comment on – and are grateful for – the fabulous new family they found in their communities. “Everybody looks out for each other and we look after each other, and we help each other all the time.”

“It doesn’t seem to matter where you go there’s always someone who is happy to include you in your group and introduce you to new people.’’ “If anybody is ill, everyone is concerned. Are you okay today?”

There’s no better comfort and support in daily life than close relationships – be it the family you are born into or the family you choose. Family-like friends can fill holes left by relatives lost to death, distance or circumstance, but they can also add richness and joy to daily life.

American scientists have even found that friends can share a lot of the same genes as us; in fact, the same amount as fourth cousins.

“In a lot of genetics research, the assumption is that we are interacting with lots of people who are not related to us, so genes aren’t going to matter. This paper suggests that this is not the case at all; our friends are sort of like our family. It’s quite extraordinary,” researcher James Fowler, Ph.D., a medical genetics professor at University of California San Diego told local media.

“One of the things we found was that the genes that tend to be most similar [among friends] are also the genes that have been evolving the fastest. That’s really exciting, because it’s supportive of a theory that one of the reasons human evolution has been speeding up over the last 30,000 years is because of network effects.”

Well, that’s certainly something to talk about with your mates! What genes do you think you might share with your closest friends? How have your friends become family?

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