Friday, August 19, 2011


I have often wondered what actually defines families. When you really think about it who we are, and where we came from is all chance. Or is it?

The word "family" comes from he Latin word "Familia." It defines a group of people who are connected by a) consanguinity (same blood line) b) affinity and c) co-residence.

It's funny to me that two out of the three possible definitions are matters of choice, and one of them a matter of chance or fate (whichever way you prefer to look at it.) It's also funny to me that the one determined by chance or fate, is actually the least defining characteristic of  a real family. 

Consanguinity is not a choice, one has no say in which bloodline he/she belongs to. But this characteristic is so petty and so little. Affinity and co-residence are matters of choice. You can choose who you're close can choose who you live with (for the most part) and more often than not the people you choose to be close to and life with, turn out to be a bigger definition of your family, than those who share your bloodline. How?

They say blood is thicker than water... Physically you could say yes. But Spiritually?

In light of recent circumstances my answer to that question would be "No."

Have you read the news lately? Have you heard the horrors? Fathers sexually molesting their daughters, mothers drowning their kids in order to be able to party more. I mean, parents and children are the closest form of the consanguineous how is blood thicker than water when things like a perverted urge, or a party lifestyle come before it?

People adopt children every day and the way those families behave, the way they interact and love each other leaves no way to tell they are not "technically" a family. They fulfill the co-residence, and the affinity portions of the familial definition yet consanguinity never seems to matter.

People abandon their children all the time because of the choices the children make: people they chose to love, degrees they chose not to pursue, and the opinions they hold yet I have met people who have been friends for years who are closer to each other than to their actual family.

I don't believe blood is thicker than water. I think a family is what you make it. I believe there are consanguineous families who really do love and cherish each other the way one would expect but I believe that's a choice; because for every blood family that treats each other well, there's another that doesn't.

Behaving as a family is a choice. It comes from deep love and respect for one another which outweighs the love of self and arrogance. It comes from a place of peace and a mutual understanding that even though we may not always agree with one another, we love one another enough to see past it without forcing each other to sacrifice a part of ourselves.


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