Family keeps it all together

Published 10:17 pm Thursday, December 10, 2015

By Chris A. Quilpa

Family, the basic unit of society, is something we ought to cherish. Families build communities, which are simply groups of families with something in common, like language or culture.

Through the years, the term “family” has been expanded in scope and meaning. It has evolved and transformed to be more inclusive, as the modern world has changed.

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No matter what’s going on around the world, family matters. Having a family makes a difference in how we live and conduct business with one another. Without family, what would we be? How did we become who or what we are without a family to nurture and raise us?

With family, we feel confident, important, loved and cared for, even successful. Having the support of your family — whether they are “kin” by blood or even some professional relationship — makes you “someone to watch or inspire” or who can make a difference.

Parents have always been responsible for taking care of their children. That’s just the norm. But, nowadays, many adult children also play the role of caretakers for their elder parents.

Things have changed in our world, whether we like it or not. The same is true with families. But we still stick to family because they’re all we’ve got; they’re the ones we turn to in good times and bad, in sickness or health.

“A family that prays together, stays together.” So goes the adage. I think there are corollaries to this adage. For instance, “A family that loves together, sticks together.” Or, “A family that loves won’t tolerate hate, bigotry or violence of any kind.”

Without a family, we feel alone, because we have no one with whom to share with our feelings, our dreams, our victories, our defeats, our problems and our lives.

Families make the world beautiful and wonderful. They make the world turn and generate a force that unites everyone together.

They say that it takes a village to raise a child. What comprises that village is a group of families sharing the same traditions and values.

Recently, my wife Freny and I came across a painted artwork at a store where we were buying a gift for St. Paul’s Giving Tree Outreach Project. The script on the artwork reads as follows: “Our family is like the branches of a tree. We may grow in different directions, yet our roots remain as one.”

Chris A. Quilpa, a retired U.S. Navy veteran, lives in Suffolk. Email him at