I came across this brilliant essay that talks about family and thought of sharing it:
Through family we find ourselves as we give and receive support.
Family brings out the best and worst in each of us. As we yield to and serve others we learn to love them and ourselves in the process. Many of us could never approach this form of selflessness in any other way. There is something about a mother or a father, a son or a daughter. There is a connection there that binds us and asks more of us then we are normally willing to give. When we are true to ourselves and follow our feelings and share openly and honestly with our loved ones we remember why family is important. And we are well rewarded for our sacrifice as it enables us to better appreciate who we are. On the other hand, when we yield to our selfishness and take our family members for granted or treat them poorly we lose our sense of self-worth and begin to despise those whom we once loved.
Our families hold the keys to understanding and appreciating ourselves. Who can relate better to us then our own brother or sister that shared so many experiences with us? Who can love us more selflessly then our own mother or father who sacrificed daily for so many years to raise us? The better we understand our parents and siblings the better we understand ourselves. This understanding is most completely achieved as we look to our family’s heritage with the help of our oldest living relatives. By discovering the customs, practices and traditions of our ancestors we uncover truths about our parents and ourselves. We find out how our grandparents treated our parents and so on from generation to generation. We discover the ambitions and fears of our forefathers along with their failures and triumphs. In the process of learning our family history we uncover our past, understand our present and shape our future.
Family is important because we are important and we need a group of loyal supporters. It matters what we think and feel and nobody cares more about us than the members of our families – at least, that’s how it should be and it starts with us. The better we are to our spouses, children, parents or siblings etc. the more they will want to be better to us. When we can count on each other and lean on each other then family works. If we waltz in on family when it’s good for us and run out when it’s bad for us then we’re not doing our part and will not find fulfillment there or elsewhere. Family is not only for our pleasure or entertainment but for all facets of life: for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do we part – we need a family and that family needs us. When we support our families we find ourselves supported.