Daily Blog Post#18 : Family Is Not Inherited

“For my own family, I would always choose the makeshift, surrogate family formed by various characters unrelated by blood.”

Anne Tyler

Disclaimer: This post was made the perspective of a southern United States citizen. Your cultures may imply different meanings to family.

Families seem to love to use the trump card of being bound by blood, at least my family does. We’re obligated because we’re family. It makes sense if you consider my mothers background. She grew up with a lot of brothers and sisters. Personally, my sister is a considerable number of years older than I am, so a fair part of my teen life It felt as if I was an only child. All of this could influence how I feel about family. That being said, I strongly believe that family is the one’s you choose, not the ones you’re assigned to.

Technically, yes, of course family is inherited. By definition. Let’s escape that definition for a while and explore the abstract concept of family. Family is supposed to be a support system by which a group of individuals looks after and helps with the betterment of the individuals within. With this is mind, I’ve heard and seen a few different situations where this was obviously not the case. I’ve seen a father who bullies their child, I’ve heard of mothers calling the wrath of god upon their “broken child” because of their sexuality. This is simply not my definition of family.

Family Is The Ones You Choose
It’s terrible to think anyone is obligated to anyone else just by birthright alone. Our parents, though they grant us life, do not hold dominion over what our aspirations should be, over what actions we wish to take, what kind of person we fall in love with, and how we should feel. This is true ass defined by my personal values.

When you find those that seem to genuinely want the best for you, hold tight. Love them like family. Someone who wants whats best for you deserves that spot in your life. The operative word here is deserves. Tradition be damned when it comes to the people you surround yourself with. Your support system can be such an important part of your life; staff those positions with people of the right caliber.

Toxic Relationships Don’t Care About Blood Ties
It’s just as easy, perhaps even easier, for familial relationships to be toxic. They have the advantage of hanging the family card over your head, to guilt trip you into thinking that you’re the reason that the family unit isn’t working. In the end, do what’s best for you.

Telling The Difference Between Caring And Uncaring Family
All of this sounds like a cry to rebel, I assure you it isn’t, It’s about not heeding tradition simply because one is supposed to. A lot of family members can be fantastic influences in our lives. I love my parents and my sister, and I feel like they’ve done what they think is right by me. I don’t agree with their parenting methods and their ideals, but I can respect the intent.

Intent is huge! Intent is the difference between someone being a bully and someone accidentally hurting your feelings. Neither are right, but one is aggressive and the other is ignorant. One knows better, the other can learn. Give people a chance to improve after you’ve expressed your feelings.

Family can be wonderful when it works and horrible when it doesn’t. Regardless of either, don’t let traditional thinking trap you into thinking you have to act a specific way.

What do you think about family, and family obligations?

~My family brought me into this world and I can cast them out of mine~

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