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Family values

Updated on May 31, 2015

What family is meant to be.

Have you ever asked yourself what the term family means? I'm almost certain when you hear the term family what goes through your mind is a traditional father, mother and children kind of a family. Family is a term that can be and approached from different perspectives. The term family includes a broad range of interconnections and associations, many of which do not fit the traditional two-parent family portrait. A family consists of a system of shared values and spatial arrangements of supporting each other. The notion of this word means different thing to different people.

In primitive days, the term family comprised of servants of a household and then both the servants and the descendants of a common origin or ancestry. Its origin can be traced from a Latin word familia which means household. The meaning remained the same until the seventh century when then the term started meaning people linked by blood, that is, father mother and children. In 90, s, a family initially embraced the whole tribe, neighborliness, friendliness and concern for others.

The dominant elements in those days were the facts of similarity between people and the shared experience of poverty or near poverty. The impression of the private accounts of family life gens was that of putting emphasis on looking after one another. In other words, brotherhood was the central pillar or the cornerstone of the family.

Family is such a powerful term that appeals to us. The term in itself shows a sense of solidarity, shared interest, and identity. In early days, ordinary people are distinguished from those of rank, state and the quality of holding something in common that is a sense of shared identity and characteristic. During the 90,s there was a real neighborliness. For instance, six or seven families could be in the same house, and they would share duties and responsibilities in turn each day. I mean, families will never let anyone starve. They never used to lock their front doors. Not a bit of string, the house was open day and night. Privacy was physically and economically a luxury.

Presently, the increasing number of single-parent families, as well as, the gay or lesbian partners has broadened our understanding of the concept of the family. Family is a unique type of a group that cannot be captured easily in a single definition.

The word family is nowadays, a ubiquitous term. It emerges in all kinds of situations though its meaning remains elusive. The contemporary family involves knowing one another because of who they simply are to one another, how much they own and how long they have lived under the same roof together. A family in the modern society is full of selfishness, competitiveness and snobbery being the chief themes of a public account of a family.

The first devastating changes occurred in the rural areas the time when the landowners pursued their policy of enclosure. The complexity of a family can warmly describe an existing set of relationships, or a warmly convincing term to describe an alternative set of relationship. What is most important is that unlike all other terms of social organization such as nation and society. It seems never to be utilized unfavorably, and never to be given any appropriate opposing or distinguishing name.

In my opinion, those who sincerely express their love and compassion and will want the very best for you can be regarded to be a family. In a family, there is a sense of safety and an unconditional love. A family should never be limited by blood or genetics. Virginia Satir said, “Feeling of worth can flourish only in the atmosphere where individual diversities are appreciated, unintentional faults are tolerated, communication is open and rules are flexible. The kind of environment that exist in nurturing a family.”


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    • Peter Wathituni profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Wathituni 

      4 years ago from Nairobi

      You are welcome MsDora.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thank you for sharing your insights on the meaning of family and family values. I also appreciate the history of usage of the term.


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