The Power of Family

A guest blog article by MoniKea D. Hatten (student, mother, world citizen)

Often, the idea of “family” is based on the bond of blood relatives.  However, there is a macro to every micro. The micro is a family unit and the macro is far far bigger. The idea of family is a forgotten topic as it relates to its place in society. Contrary to popular belief, family and unity are very important in our society and both have a powerful influence on our communities and youth collectively; more than we care to think. A sense of family unity gives us all a connection and willingness to help one another and hold each other accountable. Our society not only lost unity but the value of small families. In essence, the unity we once possessed as a nation has been abolished.

A family can range from a single parent – family to an entire community. A family is not only defined by blood but by common environment. In all other classifications of life, a species is grouped into a “family” that shares common environment, cause, and survival habits. A belief that family is only by blood or divided into small groups is a new found myth. Family has been the cornerstone of our civilizations for ages.

Whether we are considering a democratic civilization or a royal monarchy, family has always had a certain degree of power. Key point to think about here is that whenever a civilization has been overthrown and enslaved the first target has been to separate the families. This is strategic and has good reason. We as a nation can relate with the “Jim Crow” laws that instructed to separate the men from their families.

If our society did not shun the mere idea of unity and togetherness that we once had, we as a people would be able to survive in the most admirable way possible and success would be obtainable for the youth. Given, families are torn and the communities are torn.  No examples for the youth and no village to raise the youth and no pieces can be found to fix what has been broken.

I am reminded of the civil rights movement. During that period, blacks all over the country became a family through unity. The greater cause – equality – bound the families of that time together like never before. Despite the media’s influence of negative depictions, the families stood proudly bond together, with integrity.

Ultimately, due to the power harnessed by the new found family built in unity, they were able to accomplish a common goal that was shared at that time.

No matter what race, creed, or background, our society once shared a sense of togetherness and many values that incorporated family. As we hear our grandparents and their parents’ legacies and stories we realized that wisdom has a certain prominence and family had a great contribution to each of their childhoods. Examples of the change in their mindsets and ours are simple.

We all have heard sayings such as “it takes a village to raise a child”.  This alone tells you that family was far broader than blood and it was important to have a community bond in the previous eras of our American society. Society demanded unison and the media catered to that demand.

Thus, the people of America as whole viewed themselves as one nation, one society, and one family, i.e.  “United we stand.”

Consequently, youth suffer and lack this once known sense of community, values, integrity, responsibility, and family. The youth are now in a society that has self-segregated. The struggles of our predecessors to fight for equality are becoming more and more of a farce of a memory until the families remind our youth. We can relate this to women’s rights or even modern-day gay rights movements.

Movements such as these gave one group of people a common goal and focus. With this in mind, think of the civil rights movement and why it is justified as family than gay rights activists and their movement.  If we use the gay rights movement as an example of this principle, we will see a people of any creed, background and religion standing together for a certain purpose, this is unity, this is a community and this is very much a “family”. Only when we are united and have a common cause of survival can we stand.

Having a functional family to influence and mold the youth into our future politicians, physicians, and lawyers is imperative. This molehill will grow into a mountain.

If families remain torn and broken with no one handling their responsibilities as parents without rearing the children to respect the all mighty dollar rather than their families the communities and country would have productive citizens and an overall product society.  No one truly survives without sticking together. This was once the rudiment of becoming a young student; teamwork and equality, now its competition and segregation.

Our youth could have positive mentors no matter their home dysfunction and still have a better chance of overcoming stigmas and statistics. Children wouldn’t think about killing their parents over games or beating their peers over fashion. They would see each other as brothers instead of two different strangers. This is a value that has to be instilled into the children from youth.

As it stands, if you are born in a certain society your chances of leaving that cycle is statistically against your favor. Once, our predecessors could work to leave us with a greater chance to move the generation forward, now statistics tells us we are stuck. We must demand more of our youth as a society, community, and parent.  Most importantly, we must assume responsibility at some point for what we have been teaching our youth.  Ultimately, the result of not taking responsibilities for our own actions and the actions of our interconnected youth, families are torn, and so are our communities.

We are all connected as one world family.

In fact, as Mills’ would tell us, the actual impact of one person on the entire society is dominating. The adulterated truth of the negative impact that is associated with the individual’s everyday lifestyle and values that person shares leaving a deliberate footprint on our society.  Although many modern day critics blame the surrounding world around us for many faults and statistics that are happening on a day-to-day basis, in reality, we all have our own unique societal footprint and we can each play a role in creating a better future for the world family.

In the end, it is simple: we must become a societal family once again before it is too late for our youth, for our future.  It is in the power of a community family that we all can be on a road to success.

Mills, C. Wright.  2000 (1959).  The Sociological Imagination: 40th Anniversary Edition. Oxford University Press.


10 thoughts on “The Power of Family

  1. I am in total agreement with your point here. I feel, the concept of unity slowly died out and is being replaced with a sense of competition. In today’s society people seem more intrigued with materialism rather than conceptual importances within life. People feed on dramatic situations that are usually spawn from competition with neighbors, peers and community in general. Society would rather ‘look’ perfect than to actually ‘ feel’ perfect; its social medias and the skewed perception of people that it has created. Which unfortunately started this never ending competition of idealism. The real question is, what is there we do about it? Technology and social medias are here to stay; with that, how can society look past what it has created for us?

    1. We must demonstrate a sense of togetherness, teaching the new generations will be extremely difficult. However, reverting to our roots will be a great start.

  2. I believe that family are the people you are going to be with for mostly part of your life, because you have the most trust in them from being with one another over years. That’s what truly makes a family a family the time you’ve spent with one another over the years. Ultimately in the end blood relatives are the ones you are forever stuck with through out history.

    1. In essence, this article is address the metaphoric concept of a community growing within your four walls and spreading abroad your environment, and vice versa.

  3. After reading this article it changed my mind about the word family. Also, what the author (Monikea) said is true. To consider someone a family they don’t have to be blood related. A family member can be a friend or in my case my Step Team. They are like my second family because one grows to know things each other and we also worked together and overcame ‘hard’ obstacles. A family member is someone who is there with you when the whole world has turned against you. They give you advices from prior experiences to help you out.

  4. I believe family is the most important thing for any person. Without it you may not feel like you belong, and will not build an effective idea of how to interact with other people. Family should also be considered the people that love and support you. If more people thought this way there would be more inclusion in our society and less misunderstanding. When we accept others our inner circle increases, as a community it is good to include as many people as you can into this group. Eventually some of these people may start to accept others you know and this will help to grow your community.

  5. This makes a lot of sense. To me family is the ones who are always there for you no matter what. Family is not just blood related. I have many friends who I call family because we all grew up together or we all just have such a strong bond. Family is also very important in making you who you are. They help you mold yourself into the person that you become.

  6. I think that family is one of the most important parts of someone’s childhood. To me it is important that our society starts to become a family again. Even though society is always changing most family situations don’t change and with a society constantly changing it can affect how children grow up. People who know their neighbors know that they will be there to help care for the kids and the community along with society will help give the child a good childhood. I think family is the most important thing because those are the people who are there for you when you need them to be. That can be a society, a community, a blood related family or just a close friend.

  7. The sad truth is that hardship is what brings people together, or as Hatten put it, a “common goal”. In order to have a stronger nation there must first be a struggle to persist through. I think today there are several issues. One prominent one being the friction between law enforcement and those in the African American community. These two opposing sides are forming their flanks to try and stop this hardship. The problem is that people are not coming together to solve it. Family is at its strongest when weathering a storm and right now people are still creating it.

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