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What are we doing to promote family and prevent its extinction in development?

Leszek J. Sibilski's picture

Family from Anmu village, Zanskar, IndiaMost sociologists consider the family unit to be a fundamental building block of society. However, it is largely absent as a topic in international development goals. Should this be the case?

"The great danger for family life, in the midst of any society whose idols are pleasure, comfort and independence, lies in the fact that people close their hearts and become selfish." - Pope John Paul II
A recent report led by Stanford, Princeton, and Berkeley universities said vertebrates are disappearing at a rate 114 times faster than normal. These findings echo those of a similar report published by Duke University last year. One of the new study’s authors said: “We are now entering the sixth great mass extinction event.” The last such event was 65 million years ago, when dinosaurs were wiped out, in all likelihood by a large meteor hitting Earth.
In light of this apocalypse-like news, I would like to take a closer look at yet another endangered, but a bit more tangible element of life on planet Earth, namely, the family. As humankind, along with plants and animals approach what is being called the sixth great mass extinction, I wonder if it will be an event that humans go through en masse as loners, (the atomistic man as the only unit in society), or as people knit together by ties to a nuclear and extended family. I often think that the role of the family is too-often neglected and has been taken for granted in our day. The all-consuming drive and ambitious personal priority of the individual in today’s world makes me worry that families may one day go, and, as the family goes, so will go civilization.

This reflection has been additionally stimulated by the responses of my sociology students to a question I’ve asked in each class over the last three years. My students have represented a variety of cultural backgrounds, including one from China. In each class I have asked exactly the same question: What is the first essential cell of human society? Or, to put it another way, what is the most important fiber of every society? I have asked the question to close to 300 students in last nine semesters from either my Social Problems or my Introduction to Sociology classes. I usually ask the question during the first week of the semester and use it as a warm-up to future class discussions.
For the last three years, no one has given what most sociologists agree to be the correct answer. During the first year of this verbal experiment, I even didn’t pay close attention to the outcomes of my question, but after the second year I started to wonder what was happening. Last year’s results alerted me even more. As I started to analyze their answers, I shared what I was hearing with colleagues and others who are parents. Usually, after some discussion, I ask my students a follow-up question, “So what holds the family together?” Here the situation is slightly better, and a few students have dared to ask in a very timid manner: love?
One of my international students from China, however, brought to my attention yet another very compelling story related to family. On May 12, 2008, in Wenchuan County, China, an 8.0 magnitude earthquake killed 69,000 and left 18,000 still missing. After this tragic event, many Sichuan residents began to think that life was too short and unpredictable. Many, in the wake of such a tragedy, decided to live each day to the fullest and surrounded themselves entirely by loved ones.
It is not my intention to focus on the shape, configuration or type of families that we see, but I do believe we still need to look at the importance and role of family even if it is in a very generalized way. In an attempt to demystify the problem, I looked at the United Nations data, archives, and efforts as the last resort for solutions in our global village. I also read a highly recommended 1947 classic by Harvard sociologist Carle Zimmerman, Family and Civilization.”  As new definitions of family constantly evolve, I also decided to look for a simplified definition from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as the base for my deliberation. Simply stated, family is a group of people who are related to each other.
The results of my inquiries were stunning in both cases. With regards to the United Nations, I decided to check what the contemporary decalogue’s had to say about family. First, I analyzed the eight UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with a targeted date of 2015.  I also looked at the proposal of the inter-governmental Open Working Group of the General Assembly, on the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These are the goals that should be adopted as the post-2015 development agenda at the United Nations Summit in New York City, September 25-27.  Interestingly, Pope Francis will speak at the United Nations in New York on September 25th and participate that week in the World Meeting of Families Conference, to be held in Philadelphia.
When I looked at both documents, I could not believe my eyes. In neither of these two guidelines for humankind was I able to find a specific goal focusing on the struggles of the modern family and its present rapid drift toward collapse. In MDGs, Goal #5, “Improve Maternal Health”, family planning is mentioned, but as many suspect, this term is more focused on limiting the size of the family in developing countries than on anything else. In SDG’s, I was able to find three references to families. In Goal #2, “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture” a reference is made targeting family farmers as potential contributors to tackle hunger. In Goal #3: “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages,” again, family planning is mentioned; and in Goal #5: “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls” it recognizes the value of unpaid care and domestic work by women. No goal, however, made any specific reference to protecting the family unit! You will find calls to protect and/or support girls, boys, adults, children, people, populations, men, women, children, newborn, persons with disabilities, young people, older persons and the poor, but no mention is made and no mercy given for the protection and promotion of the family.
Interestingly enough, when you look at the state of families and relationships of current world leaders, who will be attending the UN Summit in September, the vast majority mention that they enjoy very strong ties to their loved ones. In most cases, they are solid role models. It seems that this is not a typical top down global syndrome. What is it then? Economics?
In 1947, Professor Zimmerman predicted, in his unfairly forgotten work, the decay of today’s family. Zimmerman demonstrates the close and causal connections between the rise and fall of different types of families and the rise and fall of civilizations. Included were ancient Greece and Rome, medieval as well as modern Europe, and the United States. “Why should we read Dr. Zimmerman today? For one thing, the future isn’t fated. We might learn from history and make choices that avert the calamities that overtook Greece and Rome,” concluded James Kurth, the Swarthmore political scientist, who edited the latest version of Family and Civilization.
My wife and I are currently experiencing the “empty nest” syndrome of family life and we have had plenty of time to analyze our young parenting years. In retrospect, we simply can’t imagine how, for the sake of our children, we would have been able raise a family without the mutual support that we gave one another. Children will always need strong, caring and trusted family units and support.
Do we really want a future without strong families? Is it not true that many of the most threatening contemporary social problems we face originate because of family disintegration? If families are neglected and current trends continue, will the children of our children go to look for examples of what family once was in a museum? Let’s not let the family unit fall into the category of a relic. In the both the developed and developing world few institutions are as important to individual health and welfare as the family. It is through the family unit in the home where love, responsibility and a sense of belonging begin. What Dorothy finally realized at the end of The Wizard of Oz is true, There’s no place like home.

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Photograph by travel photography via Flickr


Submitted by Anonymous on

Thanks for writing about the family. How true that family is what holds the whole society together, and all development efforts should be focused for the betterment of family life. That is what is most precious.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Family is vital for the existence of a meaningful nation a.Family at a small scale binds people in the world.I am married I have 3 kids a brother and cousins.They are my families.Families are important to get immediate assistance in time of happiness, despair and share personal problems.The author in his article is trying to show that the role of the family is not given due attention and families are disappearing fat like vertebrates and dinosaur.If families continue to vanish past in such rapid ways, the whole world will be endanger and no more social fabrics.

Submitted by Camillus Kassala on

We went wrong about the family when we held the 1994 Cairo Conference on Population! Also the gender theory has confused the complimentary roles of the parents in the family! Today, with the ideology of same sex marriages can we speak of the family?

Submitted by Nidhi Pundhir on

This is a very interesting blog and hits at the right spot. Perhaps in the grunt of development we have lost sight of the most important aspect - the human relationships - the seed for which is sown in the early years when a child witnesses a strong family. Please keep us updated of your work in this regard because at Plan International we are promoting "Positive Parenting"

Submitted by Tim Erson on

Well said! Strong family units strengthen communities, and that leads better schools, worship centers, living conditions and promotion of culture. Strong family units also create a natural avenue for intergenerational respect and caring. Thank you bringing to light this important issue.

Submitted by Brandon on

I really enjoyed this piece as I am a father and not yet married but plan on it in the near future. I believe that globally we are focused on self gain and creating such a perfect environment for ourselves and loved ones that we miss the point. The point being unification and a certain quality of life. It is in my opinion that ideals and morals from a time past is something that we have lost. These qualities were passed down from generation to generation but as everyone has put more emphasis on making money and supporting the family financially we have lost our way. I think articles like this help us find our way back home. Consider it a yellow brick road!

Submitted by uzma on

thanks for writing this very awakening piece. May be the "various development goals" need a tweaking to include the family aspect explicitly.

Submitted by Ethan Hoffman on

I feel that this was a very intriguing article that tackles a extremely important, but under-discussed topic. Especially true in the United States, the importance of family in the everyday, and long term, life for people just isn't nearly as important as it used to be. Speaking from personal experience, many kids go away to college now and barely speak to their parents while away, and this trends continues on into adulthood for many people. Even as kids, there's less of an emphasis on parents spending time with their children. While "family time" used to be a commonality for every family up and down any street, it's now rare to find such a family that does devote one, or multiple, days a week to just spend time with each other and stay connected. There should be a balance between being out and on your own while still staying connected with one's family, but we, as people, need to do a better job at connecting with our own blood. I feel that this is an interesting piece on a very low-key topic, but it is up to us as parents and children to rekindle families and make sure that families become a strength of civilizations and not just fond memories of what they used to look and be like.

Submitted by Jermaine Fabay on

Sir I am forever grateful knowing that there are people who care for family. As you said this time, only stresses independence, gender equality and economic growth. Let us pray and act on what we want in the future. If we want strong family ties, let us help each other in promoting family. In our country there is a strong family ties as a matter of fact it is very ordinary to see an extended family set up, we used to eat together and use that time to communicate with each other and lot of activities of being together. That is why I suffered culture shock in the first few months of my stay in this country. Let us be positive and continually hope that family will be stronger. And let us not forget that in all our endeavors God do care and always helps us.

Submitted by Isis Olivas on

It is interesting to know where our ethics and morals are now in society and the world. Thank you for this because a strong family unit is a great part of who we become when we are older. I believe it is important to connect with our families, and to spend a little time of our days to connect with them even more. Despite them being our family there will always be much more we can learn about them and from them. Being a strong family can cause a reaction to stronger communities, stronger schools, and hopefully a stronger society. Thank you very much for opening our eyes to what is really important.

Submitted by Alejandra on

Wow! It amazes me how this is not only effecting my family but others around the world as well. Reading this article made me realize how this generation is only about materialism and not about unity. I believe if we all realize by the end of the day from our busy schedule of work or school, you come HOME to a place where you are loved, appreciated, and feel Happy. Having these key elements you will succeed in life. In other words don't let money get in the way from where you came from.

Submitted by Henok Gaim on

Very interesting, I never really thought of the family as an endangered species or aging ethic. It never occurred to me once that this would be a problem in our modern society as we rely a lot on our own families as human beings. For a shelter, education, and survival, we rely on our family to fulfill these duties as it is rare to find it somewhere else, so as to how some people in our own society can reject this is shocking and confusing or to put it into greater detail, dangerous. It will surely be interesting to see how modern day sociologist will try to tackle this problem. Reading that piece of the Chinese student who came to the realization of how quick life can hit you when you're down and out really got to me. It's something for every one to think about; life is a complicated reality and we may never know when our time is up, so we must appreciate what we have before we leave it behind forever.

Submitted by aminata carter on

I believe many people dont view "family" as what shapes society because they see it people are already born into a family.
Our society doesnt have any unity because of the different things that we have going on and never took the chance and stop to appreciate our families and people around the world that struggle because they dont have one. Love is a factor of family but it doesnt shape society.
Having a strong family because it holds people together and makes people try to do and be better. People in the United States dont value family strongly because of the different technologies and opportunities, but in other countries its important because thats all they have.

Submitted by Darinka valencia on

First things first, this article was very interesting. I really enjoyed reading it and I completely agree. Family comes first and now people or kids are forgetting where they come from. Nowadays so many people only care for things that are trending at the moment and don't think about how truly blessed they are. Going everyday to a place called home and feeling love or wanted is what least crosses their mind. Unity is an essential to having a successful life. You know there will always be people around you who want nothing but the best for you. Always remember where you come from and be grateful for everything.

Submitted by Leena devadas on

This article was very informative because I didn't know this was an issue until I read this. It's scary to think that this is even a problem but what I'm really wondering is how do we fix this or how do we keep the family unit from becoming extinct ?

Submitted by BrandonB on

This article definitely gave me pause, as I've never put much stock into the thought of family being so important. Even though I was raised in a single parent household, it truly is important to have some sort of "family" that supports you and helps mold you into the person you are (or will be, with luck.)

Submitted by Roselyne Marete on

This is a really interesting article, about a really under-appreciated topic. It's easy to just ignore the importance of the family but I never really thought about how they are the first example of society that one sees. The quote by St. John Paul II is also very true, if our society is solely centered of self-gratification then the functional family is truly in danger of extinction. Hope we realize this soon.

Submitted by Mary Balanc on

This article was very profound yet simple because it discusses a topic that we are all familiar with in one form or another: family. I agree that family is very important in any society because it is human instinct to want to belong. We all belong to our families. It is important to maintain ties with our families and to remember where we came from. Having strong emotional bonds with our families helps us to survive through tough times, solve problems, and to better our society. To conclude, this article was very informative and needed to be said.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Family structure and fundamentals does reflect on societies now. If everyone would discipline and teach same values/morals to their kids then the world would have no character or culture. Families and close communities do shape how a society is viewed as a whole. This article does a great way to show and explain the importance of family and strong communities.

Submitted by F.Deen on

Interesting article. Although,it is my opinion that the Family is in no danger at all. I believe that Love is an asset that some animals posses, for example;Humans,Wolves,Love Birds dolphins ect.. being related alone is not the only tower that holds up the structure of the family,Love and respect are a major factor for the familys survival and their successes at thriving through life.Therefore Families will always be around for the animals that are blessed with the asset of love.

Submitted by Nav on

I think that we,as individuals, associate family too close to culture, and background. As we indulge more into the notion of a melting pot, people are more concerned with how they can fit into this new globalizing culture, especially in the united states. Especially for people of foreign nations, there is higher value and comfort in fitting in rather than keeping strong ties within their own families and backgrounds. Personally, I believe this is why strongly knit families are becoming more of a rarity.

Submitted by Yasimine Zoubeidatou on

When discussing extinction we always talk about some animal in the wild, however, until I read this article I never thought that the family unit is also in danger of extinction. It is at home where you first bond and connect with people and learn right from wrong. Having a strong family bond helps you to be a better member in society, you are more confident and understanding, you know how to express your feelings etc. Nonetheless, without a strong family bond an individual is lost in this world with a low sense of self, scratched from his or her peers. So no, I do not want a future without a strong family.

Submitted by Jennifer Cruz on

Family is everything. No one really thinks the reason you are here today is because of how your family raises you. What happen in your childhood makes who you are as person in the adulthood that's why having a family that teaches you values and morals are more likely to succeed. However not everyone has the same opportunities. This article really shows the importance of family.

Submitted by cornelius smith on

The article is one that brings attention to family that seems to becoming a dying bread. The value of coming together and what family means is changing to the individuals in said family.

Submitted by Jermaine Fabay on

Ang pamilya ang nagbubuo sa ating lipunan. Sana magkaisa tayong lahat para na rin sa mga susunod na generasyon. Kahit nga ang Biblia ay punong puno ng paalala tungkol sa pamilya. At kung kaming mga anak lamang sumusunod sa utos ng Biblia siguro maganda at malapit ang relasyon namin sa aming mga magulang at walang pagitan dito. Ang Diyos ang may likha ng lahat at hinding hindi Niya ito pinapabayaan, sana magtiwala tayo sa Kanya na tutulongan Niya tayo sa lahat nating hinaing.

Submitted by Samantha Bateman on

I never thought that the family unit could ever be or on its way to extinction before this article. Family shapes how people perceive the environment that surrounds them. Before even going to grammar school we learn morals, values, and how to interact with others. A strong family is important to have because without it how will parents get their children to succeed and grow into strong, respectable people. There are some cases where strong, respectable people have come from broken or weak families, but it is a very unlikely situation. A future without a family has a high risk of a world without ties between a group of people creating a sense of belonging which humans crave.

Submitted by Nicholas Jungmarker on

Family is extremely important, even though it seems as if recently family values aren't as strong as they seemed to be before. But in my opinion it really depends on the location of where each family is from because different cultures have different ways of leading their lives. For example I know that in Argentina children stay at home (or at least most of them) until they finish college and that shows that there's not such a need to leave the minute one becomes an adult. In the US most kids are encouraged to go out of state to live on their own in college and I believe that shows slightly weaker family values. Parents don't mind the absence of their children I believe in the US than in other countries with other values. So while family is extremely important because everyone needs someone in their life that can support them in some way I do believe that families aren't as tightly bonded nowadays as they used to be.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Family is what holds is together. It's the foundation of traditions and we should hold on to them.

Submitted by Kimberly Barros on

Thank you so much for writing this article. This is something I've seen true in my own life so this hit home to me. I value the importance of family and the role they play in my individual life. This is what I feel about life today and just didn't know how to put it into words so reading this was very satisfying. Thank you.

Submitted by TheOneCalledB on

After giving a short presentation on an article in the New Yorker regarding the question of reform in black culture, the importance of family in society became all the more clear to me.

Culturalists, or sociologists who emphasize the importance of self perpetuating norms and behaviors, believe that the fundamental source of weakness in the black community can be attributed to the "deterioration of the black family." And while institutional racism and economic situations are certainly to blame, as structuralists emphasize, I personally believe both have merit but find family as far more important in the equation. It is ultimately up to the family to ensure proper care for their children, and we as individuals should all be doing what we can to ensure all have a fair chance to exist in this world. We no longer live in an age where survival of the fittest is a necessity.

Submitted by Carolina Montoya on

I totally agree with the last sentence of the article, "There's no place like home".
I can not imagine what would have become of me growing up without a family. I thank Good that my parents worked so hard to try to maintain our family stable, even when we had to face difficult situations, they were strong and encouraged us, my sister and I to follow our dreams and planted in us the best values to make us good people able to offer positive thing to the society. As a core of society, family has to be strong and functional. If these is missing, society is going to suffer the consequences and people will be more apart from each other.

Submitted by Gian C. on

Family is the main foundation and a vital part of a society. It's a social institution as well as one of the agents of socialization. Family plays a crucial role in personality development of a child. Our parents provided us with our first system of values, norms and beliefs which in turn we pass on to future generations. Family values differ from culture to culture. In the Philippines where I was born, children are encouraged to stay at home with their parents until they think they can support themselves. However in the US, children are somewhat on the idea that once they turn 18 they need to be independent. While family is an important support system, it's unfortunate to say that most families now a days are not tightly bonded. There's a lot of families out there,like mine, whose parents are divorced.

Submitted by Jen Miao on

Family is an important factor into society, but not just society. Family is an important role for children. From your parents, you learn how to walk and talk and eventually maybe what you may or may not believe in. Family sculpts us into individuals. But in the article, one sections says, "family is a group of people who are related to each other." I will have to disagree with this statement. There are a lot of children who are orphans or adopted. If they're not related to their parents or don't know who their parents are, will they never be a part of a family? I believe that family isn't exactly where you're born into but who you let in around you. Maybe family will be a group of children who all have abusive parents, lean on each other to grow up, or maybe family is a couple that isn't capable of bearing a child so they adopt. I personally don't believe that 'families' will go extinct because even if we are separated from our parents because family isn't a group of people who are related to each other, family is a group of individuals who deeply care for one another.

Submitted by Michelle C on

Reading this article about family makes one wonder what truly holds family together. There a myriad of possible answers that glues a family together, but what answer is the best? In the article there is the dictionary definition of a family stated as "a group of people who are related to each other". The semantic definition of family seems distant and without feeling, but actually family is more than being related to each other, in this day and age there are families who are not related to each other at all because of foster families and foster children. These foster families are also families, even if they're not related to each other, meaning you don't have to be blood related to be considered family. I think the glue that holds families together is mainly the experiences and bonds you create with each other.

Submitted by Guisbelle Mejia on

I really enjoyed this article about family because now a days divorce and broken families are a common thing along our communities. Families are forever and that shouldn't be forgotten. I remember having my parents divorced seemed as such a tragedy but I have family from both sides that were always there. Maintaining a strong family creates strong communities and that can be passed along from generation to generation which can help our societies grow stronger.

Submitted by Alisha K on

I feel that in today's society, many young people these days don't know or understand what family means. I don't think they understand the importance of it anymore. In this era of technology and advancement, i feel like we human beings have gotten very selfish. We look out and care about ourselves more than the people around us. The meaning of family has definitely changed. Before our society used to prioritize Family, but now its not as important. These days Families don't have tight relationship with each other as they used to back then. The reason for that can be due to family problems, financial issues, living apart or simply having no time. These days i feel that our generation wants to live alone, apart from their family and become independent. Moreover, some parents want their children to move out once they are age of 18 to 21. I feel like in the future, family will still exist but the meaning, importance, values, and beliefs of what family is, will changes over time.

Submitted by Helena Nielsen on

Family is a strong component of a society which leads to the strong bond in community and places and or between people in that community. Family like this article said is being taken for granted and it should be. Family is a key element of a well being an is need in life to sustain a well functioning life. I believe that family does not have to be blood, i believe that it can also be between someone we are close to such as friends. Family sticks together through all the hard times and will share good times. There has been a problem with family lately. Kids are more attached to technology, out with friends, off at school, etc… there are many destruction that are pulling kids away from their families. I have seen that families now do not spend as much time together as they use to in the past. Having a good bond with family is need, it makes someone who they are going to be when they get older and teaches them what is essential when they have a family of their own. Family is a concept we may never fully have a exact explanation to, but there are many thoughts or ideas can be drawn from it.

Submitted by Micahel G. on

Honestly, family is one of the best things you can have. The reason behind this is that, from the day your born, the family around you are implementing morals into you. It's because of this that we become the people we are today and how we treat others that are in our lives. Even though it may seem that as we get older, we feel the need to become more independent, we can always fall back onto our family if we need them, no matter where they are. And even if there are those who were unfortunate to grow up without a family, they can still make some really close friends who they could still call a family of sorts. At the end of the day, family is definitely a great thing to have. And like the last line says, "There's no place like home."

Submitted by Arghavan Gilanshah on

Based on the Longman Dictionary, the family is a group of people who are related to each other, specially a mother, a father, and their children. But is this a right definition for family? People are in different groups in society, such as school, peer groups, and work. And based on their positions they may related to each other, but are they known as a family? Family is a strong and powerful word and is not only about the groups of people who are related to each others. Family is about caring, loving, and protecting. The right definition of family is so close to the definition of love. When you love someone you care and try to protect that person, and this is what exactly a family means. Family plays an important role in our society because this is the first group that every individual born in and grow up, and they learn important aspects of life. Social interactions and agents of socialization are about individuals and groups are related to each other and interact with each others, and family plays an important role in both. However, in today's world society is neglecting the family. Family is one word which contains a powerful sentence and each letter represents a word. The real meaning of family which is hidden in this word is: Father And Mother I Love You. F (father) A (and) M (mother) I (I) L (Love) Y (you).

Submitted by Julienne Peña on

Family is a key factor in society and it is very much taken for granted. It's understandable that this term is more focused on limiting the size of the family in developing countries than on anything else because of overpopulation and the economy and all the negatives that come with it, however making sure it doesn't go extinct is just as important if not more. There's all of these goals being mentioned but it's outrageous that their isn't a family unit mentioned at all. Families are deteriorating because of the evolution of technology and the change in values today. Yes values change and technology progresses, but that shouldn't be the reason family is deteriorating in our society over time. Family is the strong foundation of our society. Where would we be without it?

Submitted by Adam Jordan on

This blog right here is a very good one. It is very Powerful and hits the main points of what Family means. Human Society can not evolve or rotate without a strong Family. Family shapes the person that you are. Not everything or everyday is Promised. U have to Live your life to the Fullest. When people have a strong bond, relationship, and family, it gets you really far in the world. Family is EVERYTHING and should not be taken for Granted. Family should be Charished with nothing but Love and Respect

Submitted by Stephen Hahm on

Family is the main agent of socialization which shapes social institution. Our family helped us to be the person that we are today yet often times we forget the importance of our family. Majority of the time, we tend to focus on other things that we need such as money, clothes, cars, etc. We rarely appreciate each and every member in our family because we tend to focus on things we don't have instead of things we do have. One day, someone asked me if I had a chance to be born again, would I rather be born to a family I have now or born to a family that is a millionaire? Without hesitation, I chose the family I have now. I know what most of you are thinking "why would he choose his family again instead of family of millionaire"? My answer is for several reasons, if it wasn't for my family I wouldn't be the person that I'm today, they gave me more love and support than any other people, and I wouldn't trade my family for money. Don't get me wrong money is important in our live however, money is temporary while family is ever-lasting. The world may betray you, embarrass you, harm you, etc but family will always have your back no matter what. If you asked me I would take family over money anyday. After reading this, it gave me more reasons to choose family over anything else.

Submitted by Shan L. on

As the article mentioned,there is no place like home. Why? Because it is a place that you will feel completely relax and you stay with people that you love and love you. However,people are spending less and less time with their family now days. Children live on campus during school time and stay on their technology devices when they are home. I think society should value family more. In China, children used to stay with their parents until they get married. Now they just want to become independent and not staying with their parents. Blood relationship is something that will never change over time.

Submitted by Agustina K on

There is one quote that stuck out to me the most in this article "I often think that the role of the family is too-often neglected and has been taken for granted in our day" I do not think I could agree more. There is a saying that goes " you don't know what you have until it is gone" and this article goes right along with it. We often don't realize that family is extremely important especially in a society like we live in. There are extremely cruel people in this world that don't care if let you down or hurt you and at the end of the day, for some people family is all they have. Yet, most of us had not realized that families are in danger of extinction too. With that being said, we take the people who love us and care about us the most for granted and don't appreciate the values we learned from them. Having a strong family, who supports you and helps you learn, makes you and helps you be a better person in society. In my opinion it is important to remember where we came from and how we were raised.

Submitted by Melanie Lee on

I could not agree more. Family is extremely important in our daily lives and sometimes we take it for granted. We are so used to seeing our family members everyday that we forget to spend time with each other sometimes. We as a society need to emphasize the importance of family to the younger generations to keep family bonds strong in the future. Life without the support and love from family is difficult to go through. Unfortunately, there are those who have to deal without that, but having the entire world evolve into individuals without the strong bond of family is unsettling. Society now is focused on helping the individual family members, but it is the entire family unit that we need to worry about. Today, technology has become an issue. It has disconnected us ironically by connecting us through media. We are all on our phones, iPads, tablets, and laptops. Sometimes I catch myself hanging out with my friends or being with family and we're all on our phones. Once I realize that I put my phone down and try to start a conversation. That's because I don't want to be grouped in with the generation who doesn't talk to each other. This is only an example of weakening relationships, but it is an issue we need to address.

Submitted by Vivian on

As an adopted kid, I have always believed that family is very important. If I wasn't for them I wouldn't be where I am now. I've never really thought about the fact that the idea of what family is has changed over time. It's not about a family as a whole anymore, but ones own personal wants and needs. Although at the same time my parents are divorced, so I guess people have lost the perspective of what a family really is. Its hard hard to raise a kid when parents don't support or get along with each other. Now the important thing is to pass this message down to make people aware of this problem, and we need to figure a way to fix it.

Submitted by Sebastian Baron on

Family is the core of any society. Ethic, education and responsibility have their initiation in this important agent of sociology. Family is in charge of build children's principals and behaviors, giving them love and understanding of how things should be done. It is very important to invest more on education for people who will eventually create a family. A wrong family environment could be disastrous for any society.

Submitted by Tg on

Family is important to sosiety because it provides security and a sense of belonging to a group. Family is your blood and they are the people who accept you for who you are, who would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what. Family is one and only place where your life begins and love never ends. You may have lots of people in your life, but you won’t find a single person who care the most like your family

Submitted by Diego cortaza on

Family is often overlooked due to our high paced living. We are so busy with school, work, and friends that we forget to interact with our loved ones. It is sad to see that people who have lost or never had a family know how to value its importance more than family members themselves.Communication in between family members is disappearing and without our elder's guidance we could go down the wrong road. We must remind ourselves and others how truly importance family is and should be to each and every single one of us.

Submitted by Oscar Lopez on

This is a topic that i preach to most of the people that i come around. I always paid attention to how people are losing the important traditions of family. I feel like most people are busy worrying about how much money they are making and making money their priority. I think this is because it is expensive to live in america. Once you move to america your main focus is to make money. Whereas in other parts of the world people are happy even being poor. You have ladies for all the little things they have. Instead the more important part to them is their family and their connection and relation built with other people. I hate this country for that reason. One thing i remember when my brother had two kids at 21, alot of people thought he would have a hard life and he is going to have to work hard cause having kids is not easy. Sure it wont be easy, but building a relationship and trust with your family is something money cant buy. It will allow you to be happy and have a sense of purpose because you belong to your family. Even more important, you build you kids with a strong character by staying close to them and raising them. Money cannot buy any of this. So i always say before you say no to having kids with a woman because of money and you feel like you cant afford it, think again. Everyone should have kids regardless of how much money you are making. Ill never worry about being able to afford kids, Once i have them, ill find a way...


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