Unfortunately, the 21st century is set to redefine the word family by breaking the stereotypical image of husband, wife, children and pets. Many families now consist of a single parent, or same sex couples with the trend increasing upwards every year.

However you define the word family, there is no denying that the word invokes powerful emotions for a lot of people. Many are very protective of family members while others show a great deal of animosity towards parents or siblings.

It is worth observing that many politicians use the emotional value we attach to family members during speeches and campaigns. Phrases such as "family values" are designed to convey decency and normality, and build trust in a politician. As society progresses towards a more fluid outlook on family commitment this tactic may soon disappear.

Family should be those that you can rely on regardless of the circumstances you find yourself in, and those with whom you have an emotional attachment. While this may include blood relatives, it is also includes pets, close friends and lovers.