Who is family?

Let’s face it! We all are stuck with family, whethertree_life_hp good or bad! Our families are the people with whom we have to get along. We are all born into a particular family as well being part of the human family. Family can be a tremendous source of comfort during difficult times or can plunge us into our deepest HELL! A healthy family provides nuturance, acceptance, and protection and is a critical source of support in times of stress.

Why focus on “family” when the divorce rate in America is 50%, and an increasing emphasis is being placed on individual pursuits? The concept of “Family” has endured over the centuries. Individuals will go to great lengths to protect their families, despite great personal hardship, time, labor, and distance. I feel that “family” is not declining, but rather is changing form.

In the past, family was defined solely by bloodline and genetic lineage. The purpose of family was to promote the survival of the species through abundant procreation. Barbara Marx Hubbard (2001) argues that our civilization is shifting from an emphasis on PRO-creation to CO-creation. At the present time, pro-creation may have reached its limit. There are now over six billion people on planet Earth! One more doubling of the population may deplete the earth’s ability to sustain its resources. This means that people no longer NEED to procreate in order to sustain life.

Today, family may be defined not only by bloodline and genetic lineage,
but also by those with whom we choose to include in our lives. They may be
those with whom we are spiritually aligned; they may be our work family, and/or
any other group with whom we experience affinity on some level. Jay Hughes,
author of Family Wealth, defines “family” as those to whom we are connected by
bloodline, affinity, and/or emotional bonds. The tremendous energy that in the
past, was put into survival, is now becoming available to support the needs of the
larger human community. In present day America, because our blood families
may be scattered all over the country and/or the world, we are beginning to expand
our sense of family to include a family orientation to those we value in our lives.
This my include blended families, business family, and all those with whom we experience an affinity. Still, family is one of the most critical sources of support in our lives.