When most people think of the word family, mother, father, children, and relatives immediately come to mind. If you look up the word in the Oxford English dictionary you would read:
fam·i·ly (făm’ə-lē, făm’lē) n. – the group of persons consisting of the parents and their children, whether actually living together or not; in wider sense, the unity formed by those who are nearly connected by blood or affinity. While all this can be true of a family, it is not the only or the correct way that family can be defined. Family is more accurately described as a group of people who might not be related by blood or marriage but who sincerely care and love each other. They are there for you every step of the way and provide support you could never get anywhere else.
Since the beginning, families have been the building blocks of any society. Almost every aspect of our lives involves the term family. In our religion we are part of a “family” of believers. At Penn State we are part of one big “family” of students and faculty. One person unites our country as a “family” whom we all look towards for guidance. While these examples might be accepted by society today, it only describes family in broad terms. Family love is much deeper than all of that and is the love you share with your friends and relatives.
One very common misconception about family, as seen in the Oxford definition, is that its members almost always have to be related by blood, marriage, or adoption. In truth, family is anyone you love and care about and who also feels the same way about you. German poet Johann Schiller described family perfectly when he said; “It is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers and sons.” I believe that my family is not only my parents, my little brother and my other relatives, but also my best friends. My great-aunt is my blood relative but she knows as much about me as the next person. For example, my friend Caitlin can tell you anything you would ever want to know concerning me and we can practically read each other’s mind. I am not saying that my great-aunt is not considered part of my family but Caitlin is just as much as my aunt.
Family goes hand-in-hand with friendship. In order to have a family you need friendship. My family and I do not get along just because we are forced to live together. My family are my best friends and we get along because we genuinely love each other and want to be with each other. Every family is going to have its problems, but in the end no one can deny the love they have for each other.
In today’s society most people consider family to be just blood relations but in reality family is made of the bonds you share with those you care for the most. Family is a completely necessary component of anyone’s life. Your family helps you through the tough times. They provide the needed support to get you through life. Family cares about what happens to you, are always there for you, and above all, they love you no matter what.