Today is Family Day. There’re no rules or traditions it’s simply a day when you take a step back from normal life (lmao… what is normal these days anyway?) and concentrate on family. It’s actually a provincial holiday in many provinces and territories in Canada.
I’m all for family, in fact I believe family is the backbone of society. It reflects not only its beliefs and customs but also its strength and perseverance to move forward, especially in times of adversity.
Family should be a place of comfort and safety. For many it is, but for some it’s a place of anxiety and dread.
It’s for this reason I believe that the narrow dictionary of “family” needs to be expanded.
It’s not only about genetics or a place of residence, it’s about a sense of humanity and compassion. it’s about looking out for each other and welcoming a stranger into the fold—dare I say into the family?
I grew up one of eight kids, so at one point there were ten of us in the house (one bathroom, I might add) and that was reality. I knew nothing different. The extended family, though distant in miles, were always a part of the family and that never changed.
What did change, for me anyway, was the realization that not everyone had a warm bed to sleep in at night, and some faced violence in their homes, or the outright rejection of a child by his family because of their sexual orientation, political leanings, or social convictions.
I believe the discovery of such truths had a tremendous impact on who I became in the world. I believe in inclusiveness and acceptance. Diversity is the world. Diversity is family.
So for todays Family Day, I’m asking you to look around and see what family is to you. What it could mean to others who are different from you. Where are the margins? Could you accept someone into your family that you didn’t quite jive with?
There’s no right or wrong answers. It’s just about awareness of the diversity in our world, in our community, and yes, even within our own families.
What does family look like to you?
Family doesn’t necessarily mean a blood relation. It could refer to your Church Family, your Community Family, or Traditional Family… define it for yourself as a place where you’re safe, accepted, and loved.
Happy Family Day everyone…no matter what your family “looks” like–gay, straight, religious-or not, old, young, single parent, same sex parents…whatever… embrace and be Family. Don’t judge others because of your own beliefs… just be kind.
(Picture Sources: top: Scopio Brooke Terry; 2: family of 5 Unsplash:Jessica Rockowitz 3: Family dinner: Unsplash Jimmy Dean 4. Father and son: Unsplash: Nathan Anderson 5: Getting married: Unsplash:Nauci Pereira)
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