My friend read my prior post about Losing Family, Finding Family and asked if there were any real-life examples of people I knew who were not blood relatives but ended up regarded as family.
He argues that popular media like movies and TV shows are not reliable examples.
This is an amusing question because it is often the case that art imitates life, not the way around, actors in films and TV shows mimic real-world situations.
Ultimately, I argue, family is not determined by blood but by love and compassion.
So here are some famous examples of what I mean:
- Steve Jobs – The co-founder of Apple Inc. was adopted as a baby and was raised by Paul and Clara Jobs.
- Iron Mike Tyson – He was born in Brownsville, Brooklyn, New York on June 30, 1966, and was raised in a troubled and violent environment. When he was just 16 years old, he was taken in by boxing trainer Cus D’Amato, who became his legal guardian and mentor. D’Amato treated Tyson as a son and played a pivotal role in shaping his career as a boxer.
- Marilyn Monroe – The iconic actress and model was adopted by her foster parents, Grace and Arthur Miller, when she was a child.
- Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak are another examples of two friends who built a business together.
- Elvis Presley – The legendary musician was known for his close relationship with his bodyguards, who he referred to as the “Memphis Mafia”. Despite not being related by blood, these individuals were considered a close-knit family to Presley.
- Jackie Chan – The martial arts film star was adopted as a child by his parents, Charles and Lee-Lee Chan.
- Jesus Christ – in the New Testament, Jesus is described as having a close relationship with his disciples, who he referred to as his “brothers” and “sisters”, despite not being related to them by blood. This depiction of Jesus and his disciples underscores the idea that family can be formed through shared experiences, beliefs, and values, and that it is not limited by genetics or biology.
I have a few close friends who I think of as family. I feel their pain and they feel mine.
The idea that family is more than just blood is a widely held belief that has been echoed throughout history and across cultures.
From Steve Jobs and his close relationships with his business partners to Jesus and his disciples to modern-day families formed through adoption, surrogacy, and other means, the examples of families that are based on love, compassion, and shared experiences are numerous and inspiring.
This idea challenges traditional notions of what a family is and who can be considered part of one, and it highlights the importance of love, compassion, and mutual support in forming strong, lasting bonds between individuals.
By embracing the idea that family is more than just blood, we can create more inclusive, supportive communities and build stronger, more loving relationships with those around us.