Conceptual Definition of Family

Ingredients for a Family Family is a group of people who can love another person beside himself or herself, give and gain trust, and accept each other for who they are. When people love one another, they’re not concerned about themselves. Being selfless allows more room for love. In a family, members are able to compromise with the ones they love, in order to make the relationship work. Without trust, a family cannot confide in one another. Trusting the members of within the family shows the respect that they have for each other.
Respect and trust unite families, giving them a sense of understanding for one another. Being accepted by the family makes people feel assured that they are loved. Diversity in a family also is a part of acceptance, which makes them feel more comfortable. Diversity may also cause conflict, not only in a family but also in social situations. There are many different qualities that make up a family. Love isn’t just an emotion; it’s a feeling and a sense of comfort. Being surrounded by a family that loves one another is one of the best feelings in the world.
Love is the one of the most important qualities a family must have. If there were no love in the family, no one would get along or want to be near each other. In the painting Freedom from Want, by Normal Rockwell, you can see the love between the family through the picture. Everyone is smiling and excited to be around each other (Rockwell 23). You can tell that they love being around everyone because they keep a smile on their faces, which shows happiness. Being loved and loving someone else are two different concepts. Being able to love someone other than oneself takes time and effort.

The more time spent between families, the move love begins to grow. I consider love being like a tree. As the tree grows it becomes stronger and larger. The same analogy goes for love between families. As the family grows together, the love between the members gets stronger. Selflessness in a family helps the family grow stronger as a whole. It’s nice to care about yourself once in a while but when someone is a part of a family they should care about everyone. Taking care of a family sometimes challenges the members in it.
At times you have to give up certain things that may be important to you for another member of the family. There are times in my family when one of us has to sacrifice going out or canceling plans for another member in my family. When my parents want to go out, I have to cancel plans with my friends to watch my sister, but I don’t mind because I know that they sacrifice plans for me all the time. That’s just apart of being selfless. An Indian Story shows a good example of selflessness. Roger Jack states, “That’s when I walked into her life like a newborn Mathew or Grandpa or the baby she never had” (53).
Aunt Greta, from “An Indian Story” sacrificed having children of her own or remarrying because she wanted to take care of her nephew. She knew that she could help him move forward in life and that it would make him happy to live there so welcomed him into her home. By her being selfless, the boy was able to grow up doing well in school, learned from his mistakes, and went to college. Because of Aunt Greta’s actions the boy was able to do well for himself. If everyone in a family were selfish than no one would actually care about anybody.
If Aunt Greta were selfish and didn’t allow the boy to live with her, he most likely would have dropped out of school like this stepbrother. To deal with his family issues, he probably would have gotten into drugs and or fights with other kids from his area. If his family was selfish, they wouldn’t of cared about his grades or his feelings, but Aunt Greta wasn’t selfish, she took the love that she had for the boy and took him in to help him grow as a person. Being selfless plays a big part in society also. If a person is brought up being selfless it reflects on the person they are outside of the family.
In the article by Anne Lidberg she writes, “Instead of watching parades on TV or simply chatting, the Yanchunises’ spent the day serving turkey and the trimmings to hundreds of homeless people at the St. Vincent de Paul food center” (Lindberg). Their ritual has been going on for 10 years straight. The children were brought up in a home with parents who were far from selfish. By being selfless at home, they were able to teach their children to be selfless also in society. The love that the children have for their parents reflects on the selflessness that they have. Compromise within a family also ties into being selfless.
When compromising with another person in the family, they can make deals that end up working for the both of them. In the visual portfolio there is a picture of a woman with her seven young children. In this picture you can infer that she is a single mother who takes care of her children to the best of her ability (74). This woman is forced to make compromises all of the time just to be able to take care of her children. When my uncle had gotten a divorce he had taken full custody of my cousin Anthony. Being a single parent with a young boy and a full time job became very difficult for him at times.
My uncle was still young at the time himself, while all his friends were out in the social scene he was home, watching movies, playing games and cooking for his son. My uncle made may compromises for his son, not because he had too, but because he loved him more than anything. Compromise in a family keeps things fair and understandable. Being the only person in a family that gets to do or get what they want makes the others in the family want to envy and rebel against that member. If you’re able to compromise within the family you can keep everyone happy.
Trust isn’t just about knowing someone can keep your secrets, it’s about knowing someone will be there for you when you need to talk, or knowing that they will stick around during your ups and downs. The boy from “An Indian Story” trusted his Aunt with his wellbeing. The boy also respected his aunt enough to realize that his decision to drink and get into a fight was wrong. He knew that she trusted him to make right decisions and when he went against her, he understood what he had done wrong. If there were no trust between the two he wouldn’t have cared that he went against her wishes.
All that she had taught him would have been a waste of her time if she couldn’t trust him. Without trust there is no relationship. Trust is a main ingredient of a family but you also need to have respect for your family. Respecting your elders is a common saying that is used. Although respecting the members of your family that are older than you is important, you should respect all of your family no matter of their age. In the article by Kelly Weber she states, “It is important to note that I was given this privacy because I earned it” (Weber).
Kelly believes that children and teens should be respected enough to have their privacy once in a while. Although her thoughts on privacy are strong, she also makes it known that she had to earn her privacy by respecting her parents (Weber). Privacy is something that all teens strive to have, including myself. As we get older, we want to be treated as more of an adult and want to be able to be left alone when needed. Privacy is only given if someone is able to trust and respect the other. If someone wants respect, it has to be given. Aunt Greta not only respects her nephew, but his father as well.
In the story “An Indian Boy,” Roger Jack is asked what he plans to do with his life and responds, “I want to be like you” (54). Aunt Greta didn’t have an issue with the boy’s father; she didn’t think that she was a better role model than him. She reminded him that he had a father to think about and look up too. She respected his father enough to remind him that he had a male figure in his life that he could follow in the footsteps of (54). Respect is shared throughout the whole family and is well shown in Roger Jack’s story. Without respect there is no love. When someone doesn’t respect the people around him or her, they won’t be respected.
Doing and saying what they want can sometimes harm others because they are inconsiderate. That type of disrespect will not gain someone the respect that they would like to have. When people inside the family do not respect each other, there will be no love shared between the family. Everyone deserves give and gain respect. Being respected and trusted within your family unites everyone and gives everyone a well understanding of each other. Uniting the family doesn’t necessarily mean doing planned out events, it can simply be sharing the day’s events with each other or eating at the dinner table.
In the article by Mary Atuheire she states, “Brenda Ninsiima has a big and closely knit extended family, so as long as she remembers, she has always spent Christmas with the whole family in the village with her grannies” (Atuheire). Brenda’s family unites on holiday’s to spend time with each other. Some families are only able to spend holidays with each other, while other families like the boy from “An Indian Story,” can see their family members at any time. Although the boy had already moved out of his home, still was able to unite with his father and ask for advice after he had gotten arrested for drinking in Calgary (55-56).
His father had given him the advice that he needed and listened to him while he talked about his hard times. Even though he had moved out, he still was welcomed into his father’s home, uniting the two once again. If his father had shunned him for his home he wouldn’t of been able to reunite with him. A family that can’t unite with each other won’t want to spend time together. It’s important to unite with ones family once in a while, just to show that they still love being around one another. Being accepted within the family for who they are is an important boost to someone’s confidence.
No matter what the outside world thinks of you, your family will always accept the person you are. To be accepted is to feel loved and appreciated. In the story “Looking For Work,” Soto didn’t think that his family was accepted by the outside world. He watched TV shows that showed the perfect American family, but what he didn’t realize was that those TV shows aren’t reality, no family is perfect. Soto’s family accepted each other for who they were. Although they had no money, no materialistic items, and didn’t live the life shown on TV they were still a family that loved each other through their hard times.
If Soto’s family couldn’t accept their living situation or one another they wouldn’t have been a family (26-31). Without acceptance there would have been no support system or feeling of comfort. Diversity can be within a family or out in society. Diversity is to be different; not like the rest. Whether being diverse within your family means that you have a different sexual preference, different religion, or different heritage, your family will still accept you for the person you are. Soto’s sister expresses. “They’ll never like us” (Soto 30).
Soto’s idealistic family was the white American families that were shown on comic television shows. These families would all be dressed for dinner, had toys that would fill their closets, didn’t get beatings or got into arguments, and were kissed and tucked into bed every night. His family was the typical Mexican American family back in the 1950’s that weren’t respected, had no money, and had to work for the bare minimum. Soto believed that the differences between his family and normal American families, was the reason why in his mind, his family was “wrong”.
Without diversity, all families would be alike, all traditions would be the same, they’re would be no differences. When everyone is the same, life becomes boring. The best part about having diversity in this world is for the simple fact that everyone can learn about different things from each other. Although diversity is a big part of being a family, so is conflict. In situations of conflict aren’t always within the family, but within society also. Some people in the world don’t accept the fact that people are different which causes conflict. In the article by E. W.
Carp states “ Leading experts challenges the myth that lesbians and gay men are unfit to adopt” (Carp 1539). Being apart of a family with same sex parents causes conflict in society. Some people in this world are unable to understand that no matter what sex people are, they are still capable of having and raising a family with all the love they have inside of them. Some families who have a mother and a father are more unfit to raise a family than families with two mothers or two fathers. Gays and lesbians are afraid to try and adopt because of the conflict they might cause in society.
Diversity in society may cause conflict but, conflict makes the world grow, making it not so much of a negative aspect. Soto on the other hand, causes a conflict within his family when he brings up his idea to get dressed up for dinner. Although he is considering the fact of trying to act more sophisticated, his sister believes that he shouldn’t care what people think of their family because, society will never like them for who they are (Soto 29). Even though Soto started a conflict between siblings, people in this world will start an argument because of the way some one acts or looks.
Some may think that a family that doesn’t deal with conflict is a drama free family, but without a conflict once in a while a family wouldn’t be able to overcome their problems together. These conflicts, either external or internal, make a family stronger. A family joins together as one to love, trust and accept each other through even the hardest of times. Love within families is the largest component to making up a family. Consider love like a tree, the branches are made of selflessness, compromise, trust, respect, unity, acceptance, diversity, and conflict.
Without the branches on the tree, it wouldn’t look like a tree. The same goes for a family. Love without the rest of the components wouldn’t be considered a family. Family in my opinion, are the only people who welcomed you into this world and will be the only people who stay by your side through the journey life brings. It’s important to always remember that your family will love you for what you do, trust you to do your best, and accept you for who you are. Works Cited Carp, E. W. “Adoption By Lesbians and Gay Men: A New Dimension in Family Diversity. CHOICE: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries. Apr. 2012: 1539+. General OneFile. Web. 25 June 2012. “Family Values – Bonds of Unity and Love. ” Africa News Service 19 Dec. 2011. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 28 June 2012. Jack, Roger. “An Indian Story. ” Rereading America. 8th Ed. Gary Colombo, Robert Cullen and Bonnie Lisle. Boston: Bedford, 2010. 52-60. Print. Lindberg, Anne. “A FAMILY SERVES UP KINDNESS; This holiday ritual is a feast of selflessness. ” St. Petersburg Times [St. Petersburg, FL] 27 Nov. 2009: 1B. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 28 June 2012.
Rockwell, Norman. “Freedom from Want. ” Rereading America. 8th Ed. Gary Colombo, Robert Cullen and Bonnie Lisle. Boston: Bedford, 2010. (23). Print. Soto, Gary. “Looking for Work. ” Rereading America. 8th Ed. Gary Colombo, Robert Cullen and Bonnie Lisle. Boston: Bedford, 2010. 26-31. Print. “Visual Portfolio. ” Rereading America. 8th Ed. Gary Colombo, Robert Cullen and Bonnie Lisle. Boston: Bedford, 2010. 74. Print. Weber, Kelly. “Teens Should Have a Right to Privacy That Is Earned. ” Teens and Privacy. Ed. Noel Merino. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2011. Current Controversies. Web. 25 June 2012.

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