With B.C.'s first Family Day set to be marked on Monday, we're sure we'll be hearing plenty about the Liberals' Families First priorities, the importance of spending time with our children and perhaps even a debate or two about the family meal and its disappearance in the modern hustle-bustle lifestyle.
That's all well and good, and we certainly encourage our readers to take some time this weekend to check out some of the events around town in celebration of this inaugural provincial holiday (see page 15 for our round-up of family-friendly activities).
But we'd also like to encourage you to spend a little time pondering the concept of family and what it really means to you.
Few of us think of the term anymore as referring exclusively to the people who share our DNA.
The modern version of family, we've told ourselves, is who we make it - the people, groups, and sometimes even animals who make up a community of togetherness. Family is people to whom we're connected and who, in return, are connected to us.
But we'd argue it goes deeper than that: at its core, the people we consider family - be they siblings, or friends, or teammates, or the person sitting on the pew next to us at church - are people for whom we feel some sense of responsibility. Or maybe the right word is obligation. Commitment. Duty.
In an era where individual fulfillment reigns above all else, where "self" has become the priority, these words all sound vaguely threatening or, at the least, tedious and boring.
Yet it is this ability to put oneself second to another human being, or to a cause, or to a group that allows us to be part of that family - to work as an individual for the greater good of many.
So where do your responsibilities lie? To the family you share a home with? The family you share a country with? The family you share the globe with? And, most importantly, what will that responsibility spur you to do this year?
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