What pops into your head when you think of family? For most a list of people such as aunts, uncles, moms, and dads will flow through their minds, but can family really be defined in such limited terms? With over seven billion people living in this world it would be extremely simple minded to think that everyone defines this concept the same. Which leaves us with the question just what is family? Family is not something that can be easily defined, there are many characteristics that go into what makes up a family as well as the different types that there are.
To start what characteristics do you think make up a family? An important characteristic in any family is the willingness to go the extra mile for one another. In almost any family there comes a time where you have to help out or even sacrifice certain luxuries so that your loved ones can be happy. Take the role of a parent for example. Parents are the ones who provide you with not only what you need but more often than not what you want. Take away from the fact that they provide you with what you need to live such as a home and food and think about all of the extra things that they do.
On Christmas morning you and your siblings wake up to gifts filling the bottom of your tree you are all ecstatic and filled with joy, little do you know that your mom was not able to buy that pair of shoes she wanted earlier that week, so that she could buy you those gifts. Your mom did not have to sacrifice buying those shoes but went the extra mile and did so in order for you and your siblings to be happy.
Willing to go the extra mile is not the only characteristic that makes up a family, in fact one of the most important characteristics in any relationship family or not is respecting one another. Families are often a mixture of many different personalities, much like a bag of M&M’s, and although a key trait in a family is being close and together, it does not negate the importance of respecting individuality. Let’s say your cousin comes to you and says that they are planning to shave their head and tattoo it but wanted your opinion first. You tell them you think it is a bad idea and they should not do it, but the following month you see they went through with it. You could fly off the handle and tell them how stupid you think they are, but instead you respect the fact that they are their own person by showing you are genuinely happy for them.
The willingness to go the extra mile and respect are both important when it comes to what makes up a family but the one characteristic that keeps everything together in a family is love. Any family no matter the background has never done any harm by showing unconditional love. Love much like family is something that can not be easily defined but when it comes to most families you can feel it is there. A prime example of this lies in the relationship between children and their parents.
For instance it is a Friday night and you get invited to a party, you ask your parents if you can go but they say no. Instead of listening to them you sneak out your window and go, while you are at this party you get extremely drunk and end up passing out there. Upon your return home the next morning you are expecting to be greeted by your extremely angry parents, but to your surprise are embraced with hugs. Although they were extremely mad and disappointed the love and concern showed first.
Those are just a few of the characteristics that make up a family. The truth is the characteristics are never ending and will vary from family to family, but much like these never ending characteristics they types of families that are out there vary too. Which leaves us with the question just who is considered family? If you asked a group of people this same question most of them would give off a list of people related to them and for the most part that is really who your family is, but who is really considered your family? Does it always mean