Thoughts On Family

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “Blood is thicker than water”, but do you know its origins? It’s might not be what you think.

There is some evidence which suggests that the phrase originally referred to blood brotherhood, not blood relation, and that the water in question was the “waters” of the womb (source). To me, family is independent of blood relation. I am not related to my brother in any conventional sense, yet feel more kinship to him than I do to my blood sister. I consider one of my uncles family, but not the other two – they are merely blood relations. If I were adopted, I would feel more kinship for my adopted family than I would for my biological parents.

Blood family still has meaning to me, but not to the degree it seems to for most others. My attachment to blood family is largely predicated on exposure – the better you understand a person, the more likely you are to care for them – and self-interest, knowing that they *do* feel familial obligation and that if I act in accordance with society’s expectations regarding family ties, I will be able to count on support in return. To my mind, shared history is much more important than similarities in DNA.



  1. Claire said,

    June 6, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    Did you read this on cracked too? Also, hi!


    • Tyro said,

      June 7, 2014 at 12:54 am

      Yes, and that was part of my inspiration for writing the article (though the beliefs underlying it are ones I came to over time)


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