The love of a family is life’s greatest blessingAnon
If you have the great good fortune to have family and, more to the point, family that you love and enjoy being around, the above quote will resonate.
Aside from its central message, what I like about it is that it bears relation to the Danish concept of hygge – something that means much more than candles and cashmere socks!
In the month of Valentine’s Day, it feels good to have a reminder that love is more than your partner – if you have one. Love is family and friends too.
But What is Family?
Of course, no sooner have we uttered the word ‘family’, then we have to consider what the definition of a family is. The traditional view of the family, in Western society at least, is that of a man and woman married to each other and 2.4 children. The nuclear family. Besides that, we have the single-parent family, the childless family, the extended family, the childless family, grandparent families, same-sex parent families and, following divorce and remarriage, the blended family.
Families then are different in a range of facets – economic, cultural and social. But there’s one thing that every family has in common and it’s this: those who call their unit a family are making clear to the individuals in it, that they’re important enough to the person using the term, to call them family.
It appears then, that the definition of family goes wider than blood-relations. What it is, in fact, is a group of people that function together as a unit. And this unit may or may not be parents and children.
If you have no relatives or you’re estranged from them, then you could well view your friends as your family and be closer to them than you are to your blood relatives. All of which raises another question ….
What is Love?
‘The most important thing in the world is family and love.’
Love. We speak of love all the time, don’t we? Indeed, we use it so much that it’s almost lost its meaning. We speak of loving ice cream or wine – when in fact what we mean is that we enjoy those things a great deal.
In general, though we use love to describe our feelings around romance and sex. There is though much more to love than that related to romance. For instance, and as Psychology Today points out, we can love our partner, our sibling, our pet or our career.
Those clever ancient Greeks, attributed four levels to love:
- Storge – kinship
- Philia – friendship
- Eros – sexual and romantic love
- Agape – divine love
The ancient Greeks were smart enough to fear this emotion. As well they might! Both Socrates and Plato viewed love as madness and a serious mental illness. Not for nothing did they invent the phrase lovesick. As they knew, love makes us commit stupid and dangerous acts as well as bold and magnanimous acts.
When it comes to talking about family feelings, love refers to respect, loyalty, healthy attachment and deep affection.
You can’t choose your family but you can choose your friends …
… so the saying goes. And with Valentine’s Day around the corner you can choose to use our special offer to spread some love and show them that love is family and friends.
A Love Is Family & Friends Special Offer
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