When most people think of the word family, mother, father, children, and relatives immediately come to mind. If you look up the word in the Oxford English dictionary you would read:
fam·i·ly (făm'ə-lē, făm'lē) n. - the group of persons consisting of the parents and their children, whether actually living together or not; in wider sense, the unity formed by those who are nearly connected by blood or affinity. While all this can be true of a family, it is not the only or the correct way that family can be defined. Family is more accurately described as a group of people who might not be related by blood or marriage but who sincerely care and love each other. They are there for you every step of the way and provide support you could never get anywhere else.
Since the beginning, families have been the building blocks of any society. Almost every aspect of our lives involves the term family. In our religion we are part of a “family” of believers. At Penn State we are part of one big “family” of students and faculty. One person unites our country as a “family” whom we all look towards for guidance. While these examples might be accepted by society today, it only describes family in broad terms. Family love is much deeper than all of that and is the love you share with your friends and relatives.
One very common misconception about family, as seen in the Oxford definition, is that its members almost always have to be related by blood, marriage, or adoption. In truth, family is anyone you love and care about and who also feels the same way about you. German poet Johann Schiller described family perfectly when he said; “It is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers and sons.” I believe that my family is not only my parents, my little brother and my other relatives, but also my best friends. My great-aunt is my blood relative but she knows as much about me as the next person. For example, my friend Caitlin can tell you anything you would ever want...
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