International Day of Families

May 14, 2023 | International Service, News | 0 comments

In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly declared that the International Day of Families is to be observed on the 15th of May each year. It carries the purpose of celebrating the significance of having a ‘tribe’ of people to walk along in the journey of life while also promoting awareness about knowledge of social, economic, and demographic issues and processes that affect families.

“The family is one of nature’s masterpieces.” -George Santayana

A family is the essence of the society which comes in different shapes, colors, and sizes. A person may be born into a family or adopted into a family, or they might create their own family along the way. What we call ‘family’ should be there to share our sorrows and celebrate our triumphs by giving us love, support, and guidance. We define our families. It doesn’t necessarily have to be our flesh and blood. Sometimes, if we are lucky, we might find a group of friends that think like us, uplift us, and encourage us to be the best version of ourselves. I think that all of these families must be celebrated on this International Day of Families.

The theme for this year’s celebration is “Demographic Trends and Families.”

A demographic trend is one of the most important trends that impact the well-being of our families. In late 2022, the world population reached eight billion people and is expected to rise continuously, reaching 11.2 billion in 2100. These demographic trends mostly emerged due to fertility and mortality patterns. This growing population has raised concerns about sustainable urbanization and climate change.

On the positive side, declination of the fertility rate has enabled families to invest more in their children’s health and education while reducing poverty and leading to better socio-economic development. Many children around the world are in orphanages or homeless because they were abandoned by their parents, or lost their parents. They have been robbed of the opportunity to have their own tribe since childhood. Families can adopt these children to brighten their childhood with the love and care only a family could provide. But on the other hand, declination of fertility rates has left fewer family members to rely on, during a time of unemployment, illness, or other personal predicaments.

A person who has a beloved family will have the strength to withstand any obstacle that life throws at them. Our families will give us genuine bits of advice and criticism that positively impact our lives. A family will hand down their unique traditions, beliefs, and values to generations to come, making this world more colourful and diverse. When two families join hand in hand through marriage, these differences will be embraced and respected by each other, giving rise to another family of a different essence.

Families must provide this kind of nurturing, safe, and supportive environment to their members. Or else a toxic family will diminish the core values of society, like how a rotten apple spoils the barrel.

No matter how rich or poor we are, the love and care a family gives us is immeasurable. It impacts our lives in ways that we don’t even know how to properly acknowledge every day. So, on this International Day of Families, we can try to reconnect with our families by clearing our busy schedules to spend the day with them to create more loving memories. Or perhaps let them know how much they mean to you through a card or a letter of appreciation. Or having a meal together where everyone says what they appreciate about each member of the family. If we can set aside at least this day to appreciate the gift of a family, it would fulfil the goals of observing the International Day of Families and will be a stepping stone that spreads more love and harmony that a family brings to society amidst all the chaos.

As Friedrich Nietzsche says “In family life, love is the oil that eases friction, the cement that binds close together, and the music that brings harmony”. Let’s spread awareness about the importance of family to build a world that spreads more love.

Written by: Rtr. Sathmi Dinanja

Graphic design by: Rtr. Vinuri Jayewardena

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