Recent events have let me to rethink about family. What is a family? What is it? Is it by blood? or by time? Who is your family? People you know so well or people you just don't know and just accept? People mine quote from all sort of stuff. A famous quote for family is "God chooses your family, you choose you friends". Makes sense but what does the quote really imply?
Quick google-ing and wikipedia-fu gives me this;
In human context, a family (from Latin: familia) is a group of people affiliated by consanguinity, affinity, or co-residence. In most societies it is the principal institution for the socialization of children. Anthropologists most generally classify family organization as matrilocal (a mother and her children); conjugal (a husband, his wife, and children; also called nuclear family); and consanguineal (also called an extended family) in which parents and children co-reside with other members of one parent's family.
Of course, when it comes to social definitions things are not always rigid. People who adopt children also becomes a solid family. People who are married with the same gender also becomes a solid family.
Is family then broken down into just sustenance? Who is able to provide your basic living needs of shelter, food and safety becomes your family? Or is it then who is there when you are in your weakest state becomes your family? What about then, broken family? or are all family broken and thats just how the way it is? Does then family overlaps with a friend? Can a father, be a friend, be a mentor and be a father? On the other hand. can then, a mother does the same? What is it then that a role a family has to play? What role does a father play, or a mother or a son? Some families are not even by blood and yet they are tighter than the force that bind quarks together.
Things were easy in the past. You are born. You go through the rites of passage. Can you hunt and help the community? Yes? Good! Welcome to the society. No? well... don't get eaten by the tigers. (BECAUSE YOU'LL BE A BURDEN) In an uncivilized society that is. Easy.
Now a days... Not so. With the coming of civilization coupled with the advancement of knowledge and the expansion of consciousness we realized that this darwinian approach to evolution was not the best idea. It did worked for the past billion of years, it led to us, but we can do better now a days.
People say that, the family that you are born with is a gift, you didn't choose it, it was just there. And we must reconcile with ourselves what do they mean in the end.
We were born into this world as strangers, but we were accepted by our parents. That is not true. We were not strangers to our parents, we were expected. Even before we were born, expectations were already shoved onto our shoulders. " Is it a boy or is it a girl?" "He/she is going to become a great _______". What have we done to earn them? we were not even born yet, not even molded in to anything. And yet we have been thrust with such a duty? and when we fail, its our fault, somehow its always our fault. We can't blame anything else.
We were not born strangers, we were welcomed. But the we that we were welcomed was the we that were pure. Untouched by life's experiences and what life has to offer. The we that we were welcomed was the we that was soft, and smooth baby skin, and baby smiles. But as we grew up... things become uncertain.
I might be a little ungrateful here because there are many others who are more ridden with more fateful circumstances and some not.
But it is precisely because of that we have the better chance of making things work. We have the upper hand in making a social change. We, those with family have a responsibility to make things the best and better for each family member that we call family. Once having a family, your life is no longer your own. I wished some people realized this. I'll remember this when I grow older. I don't want my son or daughter to feel the same way that I feel. I want to be a family man. But I am ridden with a curse. 2 actually, a generation gap and the things that i grew up with. But this can be worked out. We can learn and grow if we choose too.
So, my definition of family would be... Family is defined by time and effort. Family is neither by blood nor it is because of it. A family is where our live is no longer our own. A family is a unit whereby we work together to bring each of us to a higher level. A family is where we support one another in times of troubles and celebrate each other in times of glory. A family need not be chosen by god. A family can be worked out. A family would understand and be there whenever you needed them. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.
* this is probably just a rant after two car accidents in two month, and an ideal view of family, but hey, one can dream and work to it, can't he?*