When you become successful, it’s not just your friends and strangers that will expect things from you. In fact, your family members (especially if you all are close) will be the first to expect you to either do things for them, or to take care of them. Now, when most people become successful they can’t wait to give back to their loved ones, as they should. It’s a great feeling to get your parents their dream home, or to help invest in your brother’s business that he’s been talking about since you all were kids; being successful allows you to do the things that you’ve always wanted to do for your family members, including taking care of them if you want to…and you’ll do it because you want to do it. The key word of the latter sentence is want. It’s perfectly fine when you’re successful and want to take care of your family, but when it becomes expected of you to do so, there’s a problem.
Kobe Bryant made a statement about how he had to cut financial ties with his immediate family members, and his response gives a perfect reason for why no one should be expected to take care of their family just because they are extremely successful. Speaking in regards to his parents after they auctioned off his high school memorabilia:
“Our relationship is sh*t,” Kobe says. “I say [to them], ‘I’m going to buy you a very nice home, and the response is ‘That’s not good enough’?” he says. “Then you’re selling my sh*t?” (via ESPN).
Kobe also mentioned that he no longer financially supports his sisters, “Because they each have college degrees, their own careers and can support themselves.” Why are his responses so perfect? He hits the nail on the head for why no one should be expected to take care of their family. Regardless of how much money you have, taking care of someone that is lazy or that can clearly take care of themselves but would rather look to you for money will make you feel like you’re being used. As much as we’d like to believe that family wouldn’t use each other…this is not a belief that is always true. Greedy and ungrateful people come in all forms whether it be friends or family, and these people are usually those that expect things from others. Sometimes you have to guard your finances like you would guard your heart, and if cutting ties with family comes with that then so be it! Unless they were with you shooting in the gym, no one in your family should expect you to take care of them. Unless you have children and a husband/wife, the only person that should expect to be taken care of is the person that you see in the mirror.
Written By: Kahina Ray
Follow Kahina On Instagram: @_k.ray