Social Question

Berserker's avatar

Is "family" just a word?

Asked by Berserker (33514points) December 13th, 2009

Generally, we all love our family members, and overlook, or seek to justify or forgive the actions they may do that, if someone not from our family did, would be quick as lightning to judge and condemn.
Is it just a word, or is family really that important?
What are your thoughts? Aren’t we all just humans?
Things like sexual abuse are usually never forgiven, for good reason, so is it instinctive, or is there something more to family?

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22 Answers

druebeall's avatar

Seems like it is becoming that way to some degree. It is a shame.

Aethelwine's avatar

Family is very important. Especially your immediate family. Who else will have your back when you fuck up?

definitely not the Schwan’s guy.

Berserker's avatar

@jonsblond The government? XD

scotsbloke's avatar

Family to me has 2 meanings – Immediate family is the most important thing, when all fails, you’ve still got the family and I’m lucky to have close relationships with most members of my family, screwed up relationships with some and distant with one or two realtions – pretty much a standard family I guerss. I also have a family of people who I have gotten to know – friendships both real and virtual – that can also be deemed a family.
It’s what the word means to YOU though.
I personally think the family unit has changed from even when I was a kid, I dunno if it’s down to lack of respect or what but it does feel different somehow….........

MrBr00ks's avatar

“Family’s just another word for ‘Nothin’ left to lose’”. Not an exact quote per se…

my_hearts_in_scotland's avatar

To some it may be just a word. But to others, family is one of the most, if not the most important things to them. To me, I value family very much. My sister is my best friend. Right now my brother is not being the best brother, or son to my parents. Refused to spend Thanksgiving with the family and now refuses to spend Christmas with them. He doesn’t ever talk to our dad dad doesn’t like his girlfriend much, but despite that, I still try to let him know that we all love him and that he’ll always be apart of the family. :-)

MacBean's avatar

@jonsblond: I’m related to a Schwan’s guy…

Aethelwine's avatar

@MacBean The last Schwan’s guy I knew felt me up and used the cute puppy I was holding as a cover. :/

MacBean's avatar

@jonsblond: The Schwan’s guy I’m related to wouldn’t be smart enough to do that. XD He’s a big, stupid teddy bear.

Aethelwine's avatar

@MacBean I love stupid teddy bears. They are cuddly. :)

JLeslie's avatar

Family are the people who will help you when no one else will. It is easy to feel like others are family when all is good, but when things get bad and you have lost everything who is going to take you in?

evandad's avatar

Yes, a six letter word.

YARNLADY's avatar

Most likely it depends on what kind of ‘family’ you were raised in. To some the true meaning will be illusive, because they never experienced it, so the letters that spell family are nothing more than that. For others, the ‘family’ is a whole life experience, and to us there is a deeper meaning.

JustPlainBarb's avatar

In some cases, sadly yes. There’s no guarantee that just because we’re related to someone that we will be a “family”. I think family is a state of mind too. I’ve considered some friends I’ve had more family than some of my own relatives. It’s just something that needs to be nurtured and grows as we feel confident that someone will always be there for us and loves us unconditionally.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

“Family” is not the same for all people. There are different ways of being a family that is derived from cultural, economic and social factors. The three main types are: family as a “tribal” arrangement, with families living near or with each other, with lots of intergenerational interaction and support; “nuclear” family, where couples marry and move away from or distance themselves from their family of origin and strive for self-sufficiency; “communal” family, where friendships take the place of the support network that a functional family structure traditionally provides.

Post-WWII socioeconomic factors and increased mobility due to employment factors saw a growth in the nuclear family structure; a significant portion of the American population lives in different cities than their family of origin. While the first generation to move away from the tribal family model retains that sense of family and often imparts some of the values to their children, for each subsequent generation, the bonds weaken, and the tendency is to live apart or away from your families. In doing so, families become “chosen” by creating close bonds with friends to replace that connectivity traditionally thought of as family.

A support network, especially when raising children, or aging, makes life so much easier, and eases the sense of isolation.

thriftymaid's avatar

There is nothing more important than your family.

nebule's avatar

We’re a tribal family… (thank you for that @PandoraBoxx ) my two older sisters are married with children and I have a child.. and my parents are round the corner from me, we actually all live within half a mile of one another…it’s pretty cool and yet it can be pretty difficult at times… but those difficult times don’t get in the way of the immense feeling of support that emanates from being physically close.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I have a family, but it’s not the one I was born in. Some of us are, unfortunately, related by blood to people who should never have gotten together, much less procreated. But in my case, I did eventually get a family that has made me a part of itself and I know that we have each other’s backs.

CMaz's avatar

Actually it is…

A word with a definition, but it does not define what family is.

lonelydragon's avatar

That depends on the person’s experience. It’s easy to say that family is the most important thing in life if one has had a positive family experience, but people who didn’t have a good family life will obviously have other priorities. I believe that the term “family” shouldn’t be limited to biological relatives. Some people mesh well with their family of origin, while some of us will build our own families of choice.

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