Having been brought into a rather eccentric household (whom I adore), I of course grew up understanding the importance of loyalty blah blah blah. But I also grew up to clearly see the ties which occur whether there is the same blood flowing through the other people or not. I call this the ‘unconditional gene.’ And whether you are family or not, and if you and I to choose to like/love one another unconditionally, as far as I am concerned, you are my family.
© Clare Munn 2008-2013
The Oxford Dictionary tells us:
1. [treated as singular or plural] a group consisting of two parents and their children living together as a unit.
- A group of people related by blood or marriage:friends and family can provide support. I could not turn him away, for he was family.
- The children of a person or couple being discussed:she has the sole responsibility for a large family.
- Informal a local organizational unit of the Mafia or other large criminal group.
2. all the descendants of a common ancestor: the house has been owned by the same family for 300 years
- a group of peoples from a common stock.
- a group of related things.
Look at the first bullet point – “I could not turn him away, for he was family.” What utter nonsense. Do you have any idea how many times I have hosted a dear non-blood unconditional friend because they are in need, and vice versa? Many.
So, what are we to do with this ‘new family’ definition as it clearly doesn’t help us with hospitals or taxes or practically any legal nuance that requires a ‘blood relative’ to approve. Do we shout it out a little louder? I think so!
I do believe all the respective parents of my god children would trust me if I had to make a decision about one of their children, but as a mere god parent, would I be allowed to? What about inter-racial couples? Which culture ‘wins?’ What about our gay fellows? How are gay people to make any legal decisions when ‘gay’ is not deemed ‘legal?’ As a friend, how would I be allowed to make a life and death decision with my three very closest girl friends on the planet? I would allow them to make a decision on my behalf in a nanosecond instead of some well meaning Doctor or nurse who has never set eyes on me before.
So… what are we as a strong, outspoken, and forward thinking nation going to do about this?
- In the short term, make sure your Will is in place and your advocates are listed. There are numerous simple and non-expensive solutions out there.
- My next suggestion is talk about this amongst your own families. Hear and share your thoughts and keep the conversation going.
- And all you activists out there, get the conversation volume turned up high. Let’s work on making sure that a new definition for ‘Family’ is voted for. Some budding politician who is smarter and less angry needs to take up this banner again and again and again.
We are all interconnected.
We are all family.
The television series, Modern Family, shows an interest in this subject. Perhaps the time is now.
Thank you. Be well