I used to believe that I had a few family values. Now I am sure. That comes as some relief to me, otherwise I might have had to declare myself inhuman. Family values, I have come to realise, are something you learn with time. A child is not born with family values. A child is shown what a value is, why it is held dear, and why it should be cherished. You cannot teach children values. They must see them in action, experience them firsthand. That is what parents are for – to show them.
If you choose family, be sure you understand the true meaning of the word. A family is not a fair-weather friend. That is the first thing a family is not. A family is not a score of judges ticking boxes with their children. A family wants the best for each of its members – no matter how many members it may have, and no matter what that best for each member is. Most importantly, if you choose family be sure you can trust them. That makes all the difference in the world.
Family is a social concept. It works. However – like many other words bandied about without full appreciation for their true meaning these days – a lot of people do not come from families and they do not know what the word actually means. It is sad for those people. It is not that they are mean-spirited or deliberately unkind – it just means they shouldn’t have children until they are certain they have learned the true value of family.