Sorry about the belated nature of this one today... It's often said that you can choose your friends, but not your family. In critical chasm teetering moments, most people list family as the most important thing in life... but it would seem that for the large part we tend to take them forgranted. Kids don't realise the worth of their parents till they themselves are much older or become parents themselves. Why? Parents sometimes get too busy with careers and what not and miss their kids growing up... why? Family is the basic building unit of any civilisation. The breakdown of "community" is often attributed to the breakdown of the basic family unit. Is our civilisation on the decline, or is it evolving into something new?? Here is an open ended topic, the importance or otherwise of family. A seeder question to consider: Do family members need to earn respect and trust in the same way that friends do, or is respect and trust inherent by the act of birth?? Discuss. Helen Keller: A man can't make a place for himself in the sun if he keeps taking refuge under the family tree. George Santayana: The family is one of nature's masterpieces. Jane Howard: Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one. Margaret Mead: No matter how many communes anybody invents, the family always creeps back. Marilyn French: To nourish children and raise them against odds is in any time, any place, more valuable than to fix bolts in cars or design nuclear weapons. Pearl S. Buck: I love people. I love my family, my children . . . but inside myself is a place where I live all alone and that's where you renew your springs that never dry up. Shakespeare: The voice of parents is the voice of gods, for to their children they are heaven's lieutenants.