Family: Shorthand for love

If you ask ten people what the word ‘family’ means to them, you’re likely to get ten different answers. In our modern society how we interpret the term family has evolved from its traditional description of 2.4 children to include many other differing descriptions.

In addition, how we view families can change over time as our individual circumstances change and evolve: growing or shrinking in terms of scope and definition.

However, there is one factor that applies no matter how you apply the word family: love. We use the term family to describe the people with whom we are closest, those whom we willingly share our time and affection for. In modern times family does not exclusively mean ‘blood relation’ but had been expanded to include those whom we willingly share our life with. Family then can include people outside of the traditional meaning of the word to include our dearest friends and even those who mean most to the people whom we love in turn. Ultimately, the only common denominator of what we consider to be family is that it is made up of those we care most about and who, in turn, cherish us.

When we use the word family it’s like shorthand for a number of concepts, such as a sense of belonging, closeness and a feeling of trust. It demonstrates that we consider ourselves as part of a greater whole, with all those in the family working for the benefit and support of all. Family is about sharing our time, our experience, our knowledge and our emotions with no expectation of reward – other than to expect the same in return from those we love.

Having the time and opportunity to share those special moments in your everyday life is the key to a happier, more fulfilling life. However, achieving a balance between your family time and the demands that a busy life and career can make on you will, at times, seem like an impossible juggling act.  In fact, well-being, career and family are not completely opposite goals which require the sacrifice of one to benefit the others. These things are actually fundamentally connected – with the correct balance between all three bringing a wealth of benefits to many elements of your life.

Finding the time to be with those we love and care about, isn’t just a nice to have, it’s a necessity. No matter who you include in the term, family is about both supporting one another and celebrating together.