What is family for?

Families are micro level societies in a huge cluster of societies in different sizes and amplitudes. As a society, families have patterns and rules that make each one unique. The primal reason humans got together as societies was survival. Plato says that society exists because of human beings’ lack of self-sufficiency.

the-family-mary-cassatt-1893Family, by Mary Cassatt, 1893

Since we depend on each other to live, we end up caring for each other’s lives and wellbeing. Even if we don’t have much in common, family teach us, from such an early age we can´t even choose not to learn, to care for each other. You end up caring for people “because” you know them either for their entire lives or for your own entire life. This is a huge deal. In case of parents, children and siblings (or any other type of nuclear family structure), you not only know them for long, but you share(d) a big chunk of life. You know how they act when they are sad, when they are angry, when they are happy. You’ve seen it all, or at least mostly. You have a lot of information about those people, and once you know people in more deep ways, you tend to build caring feelings. Human beings share some basic struggles, so we relate.

It is hard to decide if such learning is good or bad to each individual, since the “caring feeling” may become a burden. But there is no doubt that the emotional knowledge we acquire as a family member can be widespread to larger groups, like our friends from school or neighborhood colleagues. Family treatment being reciprocal, trust is built over time.

The concept of family benefits not only the members involved, but the society as a whole. We should actively try to maintain the cohesion even among the more distinct group members.

How do you think the concept of family is related to a better life? Please comment!

Please remember that English is not my first language, so I apologize for any mistakes or weird word arrangements. Help me improve by sending an email to contacthoneytea at gmail dot com or commenting if you find anything wrong or bad-sounding!

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5 responses to “What is family for?

  1. hi honest tea…i would never know that english is not your first language..! i was just thinking about this today! and will be blogging about family tomorrow… thank you for sharing your thoughts. just beautiful. i was thinking family is where you feel you get let down all walls, all masks, open your heart, and feel total and complete acceptance – where you feel compassion and understanding. but so often this is not the case. so often our blood family can be the most judgmental and critical and we are left feeling alone and misunderstood. and so we are there in the mass trying to create our own ‘family’ and then we realize that while we have our differences with those outside our blood family, it is in the sharing the truths, the pains, and the suffering – often with complete strangers -, where we find true family –

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are right, Manette – we should broaden our concept of family to those in which presence we can be truly ourselves, regardless of blood or heritage. Looking forward to read your post about such deep subject. Thanks so much for commenting.

      Like

  2. I think “family” can sometimes be the hardest learning ground for us. I believe even the great non-violence leader Mahatma Gandhi had a challenging relation with at least one of his sons. Our experience in the family setting provides such a background to the rest of our lives. Most of those who experience supportive families will likely feel more self-confident through their lives, I believe. Just a few thoughts on a very vast subject area. Greetings, Sam 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with your thoughts, Sam. And I think people should reflect more on family dynamics. As we have couples therapy/counseling, why not engage in family counseling when faced with some major problem? I believe it
      could avoid a lot of emotional pain. Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Why bother having children | Honey Tea·

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