Lately, I've been thinking about what the word "Family" really means. Maybe because of all the midterm election ads that have been running on TV and how "Family Values" is always mentioned. We as a culture tend to toss the phrase around constantly but, I'm not sure of the meaning any more.
What is a family, really? Webster's defines "Family" as a group consisting of parents and children living together in a household. But I think there's more layers to it than that. Is a family simply those you share blood with? Does it have to be? Or is a family the people you chose to surround yourself with? I think I'm leaning towards the latter. We don't get to choose the families we're born into. Some of us get lucky and live idyllic lives with parents & siblings who are loving and supportive. Some of us don't. Others of us get a mixed bag. Whether the hardship is abuse, illness, or lack of communication, we're forced to look outside of our comfort zones to forge our own kinships. We surround ourselves with friends and lovers who nurture, comfort, and are devoted to us in ways we've never known. What confuses me is why so many people don't see value in these types of families?
To me, families are constructed of the people who matter most to you. Regardless of DNA, if I care about someone enough to matter to me, I consider them to be my family. Period. End of sentence. Politicians telling me what or who to value; are of no value to me.