The Meaning of a Family in Hard Times

'No Man is an Island'

No man is an island entire of itself; every man

is a piece of the continent, a part of the main…….


These lines by John Donne, an English poet celebrates the connection we, as a human being, feel for one another. One of the first places to form this connection is the family. We cannot exist in a state of complete isolation. Love, affectionate care, support and all other emotional inputs that are needed to shape the perception and emotional intelligence of an individual, is provided by one’s family.


Let us imagine the longing for home that the street urchin in Salaam Bombay had in his heart. He craved for a family reunion. Chided by his mother for retaliating against his bullying elder brother, he was forced to leave home and work at the Apollo Circus. He could come home to meet his family only if he could save five hundred rupees. Life was an adventurous roller-coaster ride and no matter how hard he wished to join his family, he could never find his way back. He had to learn to live with new families, comprising some fellow street urchins and a drug peddler.

The meaning of ‘home’ and ‘family’ is not known to many and then there are those who are constantly thirsting for the reality of being with one’s family, to experience togetherness.

Let us pause for a moment and think about the health workers, nurses, attendants and doctors who have selflessly pledged their support for treating the COVID patients. It is time away from their families that give these noble soldiers the scope to combat the virus. They are no less than the heroes of the war.



COVID 19 brought with it an unprecedented situation as the grip of lockdown curbed our freedom of movement and other choices. Many of the privileged classes are forced to spend more time with our families. This has been a blessing in disguise for my neighbour’s spaniel, Woolly who loves playing with young Rick. Now is the time to make the most of togetherness. It is time to experiment in the kitchen, work on the lawn, making space for love and beauty in life.


As years roll on, we evolve and that helps us in expanding our families in a metaphorical sense. Today, if we remain indifferent to the suffering of a migrant worker or the vulnerable groups, then we cannot find the sense of family beyond one or three people. We need to show solidarity and recognize the need in us to embrace the families waiting for us.


May 15 is celebrated as International Family Day every year - Spread love - Save a special hug for your family today!

Written by Preeta Chatterjee

A professional teacher and works at a private school as an English teacher. She is interested in Psychology, Counselling and Gender Studies. Reading novels, journaling, gardening, writing movie reviews and indulging in photography are some of her hobbies. She loves to work with children having learning problems.


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