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The Concept of Family & What It Truly Means!

Family is defined by Merriam-Webster as:
1) a group of individuals living under one roof and under one head
2) a group of persons of common ancestry: CLAN
3) a group of things having common characteristics esp. a group of related plants or animals
4) a social unit usually consisting of one or 2 parents and their children

Webster’s concept offers a broad definition in which we can all pull a piece or two from. And if the plants and animals are reading this I am talking ’bout you too…Except we as people have the ability to think, reason, understand, and will.

A concept is something conceived in the mind; a thought, notion, or idea. This is the common theme amongst us…the Human Family!

Yes we differ in many aspects. Whether it is nationality, religion, culture, or the way we look and dress. Or our morals, values, principles or lack thereof. Such factors shape and mold our concepts or thoughts due to our experiences. These experiences–the trials and joys– of life creates our concept of what family is.

For example, ” Oh you are my sister so I expect you to have my back, help me when I am in need, and not sleep with my man. But my college roommate who I have known for the past 3 years has been more of a sister to me than you have.”

What about the son who expects his father to support him, teach him, and guide him. Instead all he does is scream at him, beat him, and demand that he bring him a beer. But his little league football coach fills this role all the way through highschool and college. Now he is a star player in the NFL.

This concept of family comes by way of a choice being made for you. No one chooses their birth mother, father, or ancestry. No one chooses where they’re born, live or its conditions. So because of this lack of choice we commonly associate family with blood relatives only. Although studies prove that a child’s basic character is formed by the age of seven, study also proves that this concept is still under construction.

Fast forward into adulthood and no it’s not surprising to find people with many differences who associate each other as family. They share no common ancestry or bloodline, from different cities, states, or countries; of a different race, color, or background.

We live in a society where these are the same differences that have caused division, but has also produced unity. With so much hate, hurt, and tragedy in the world we as the human family must give attention to the DIVERSITY within our society. Now give attention to a few similarities that links our diversity…air, water, food…need I say more?

Dr. Myles Monroe (RIP) wrote in ‘The Purpose and Power of Love & Marriage’ that “Family is the first and most basic unit of human society. Families are the building blocks with which every society and culture is constructed. In essence, the family is the prototype of society…In other words the condition of society reflects the condition of the family… God invented the family right at the very beginning, and it is still His ideal institution for establishing human society. Therefore, the cure for all the social, psychological, emotional, spiritual, and civic problems that we face in our communities lies in rediscovering, restoring, and rebuilding the family.”

As a Moorish man with a Caucasian aunt and cousin, biracial cousins, dozens of adopted cousins, and a handsome 12 year old lil brother(not yet ladies), who is also adopted; we as a family never used Webster’s concept to define our family. Our hardships, struggles, misunderstandings, and fights amongst each other were the ingredients that bonded us. And no matter how much we fought, no one from outside the family could bring harm to ANYONE of the family. Friends of the family included.

Throughout this 13 plus inside ‘Higher Learning University’ I have had one brother to be what the name entails(Zeek). The rest of my supporters are women…my mother, grandma, 2sisters, aunt, cousins, and a few female friends. So when I hear Shawn Carter breath truth on the ‘Magna Carta’…”my brother’s is my brother’s like my brother is…” Well, my sister’s is my sister’s like my sister’s is… y’all know what time it is!

Blood is thicker than water but nothing is stronger than love…

What’s your concept of family?

J’da Penman
Facebook: Jamar D. Hairston-Bey

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