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Family Quotes

 I don't care how poor a man is; if he has family, he's rich.  ~Dan Wilcox and Thad Mumford, "Identity Crisis," M*A*S*H


It is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers and sons.  ~Johann Schiller


The family is a haven in a heartless world.  ~Attributed to Christopher Lasch


The great advantage of living in a large family is that early lesson of life's essential unfairness.  ~Nancy Mitford

Alex Haley: In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future. 

Ariel and Will Durant: The family is the nucleus of civilization.

Auguste Napier: In each family a story is playing itself out, and each family's story embodies its hope and despair.

Barack Obama: My wife has been my closest friend, my closest advisor. And ... she's not somebody who looks to the limelight, or even is wild about me being in politics. And that's a good reality check on me. When I go home, she wants me to be a good father and a good husband. And everything else is secondary to that.

Ben Silliman: American families have always shown remarkable resiliency, or flexible adjustment to natural, economic, and social challenges. Their strengths resemble the elasticity of a spider web, a gull's skillful flow with the wind, the regenerating power of perennial grasses, the cooperation of an ant colony, and the persistence of a stream carving canyon rocks. These are not the strengths of fixed monuments but living organisms. This resilience is not measured by wealth, muscle or efficiency but by creativity, unity, and hope. Cultivating these family strengths is critical to a thriving human community.

Family Life Specialist with the University of Wyoming's Cooperative Extension Service

Bertrand Russell: The place of the father in the modern suburban family is a very small one, particularly if he plays golf.

Carl Sandburg: A baby is God's opinion that the world should go on.

Chinese Proverb: Govern a family as you would cook a small fish - very gently.
- sometimes attributed to Confucius

Colette: It is not a bad thing that children should occasionally, and politely, put parents in their place.

Confucius: To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.

Eda LeShan: Becoming responsible adults is no longer a matter of whether children hang up there pajamas or put dirty towels in the hamper, but whether they care about themselves and others -- and whether they see everyday chores as related to how we treat this planet.

Elizabeth II: Like all the best families, we have our share of eccentricities, of impetuous and wayward youngsters and of family disagreements.

Elizabeth Stone: Making the decision to have a child - it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body.

The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family.  ~Thomas Jefferson


Sometimes our hearts get tangled
And our souls a little off-kilter
Friends and family can set us right
And help guide us back to the light.
~Sera Christann


The family - that dear octopus from whose tentacles we never quite escape, nor, in our inmost hearts, ever quite wish to.  ~Dodie Smith


Family life is a bit like a runny peach pie - not perfect but who's complaining?  ~Robert Brault,


The great gift of family life is to be intimately acquainted with people you might never even introduce yourself to, had life not done it for you.  ~Kendall Hailey, The Day I Became an Autodidact


In time of test, family is best.  ~Burmese Proverb


Family is just accident.... They don't mean to get on your nerves.  They don't even mean to be your family, they just are.  ~Marsha Norman


The only rock I know that stays steady, the only institution I know that works is the family.  ~Lee Iacocca


Friends are God's apology for relations.  ~Hugh Kingsmill


They... threw themselves into the interests of the rest, but each plowed his or her own furrow.  Their thoughts, their little passions and hopes and desires, all ran along separate lines.  Family life is like this - animated, but collateral.  ~Rose Macaulay


What greater thing is there for human souls than to feel that they are joined for life - to be with each other in silent unspeakable memories.  ~George Eliot


At the end of the day, a loving family should find everything forgivable.  ~Mark V. Olsen and Will Sheffer, Big Love, "Easter"


If the family were a fruit, it would be an orange, a circle of sections, held together but separable - each segment distinct.  ~Letty Cottin Pogrebin


The informality of family life is a blessed condition that allows us to become our best while looking our worst.  ~Marge Kennedy


The family is one of nature's masterpieces.  ~George Santayana,
The Life of Reason


We cannot destroy kindred:  our chains stretch a little sometimes, but they never break.  ~Marquise de Sévigné


Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family.  ~Anthony Brandt


There's an awful lot of blood around that water is thicker than.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966


Family faces are magic mirrors.  Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present, and future.  ~Gail Lumet Buckley


Are we not like two volumes of one book?  ~Marceline Desbordes-Valmore


I don't have to look up my family tree, because I know that I'm the sap.  ~Fred Allen


The lack of emotional security of our American young people is due, I believe, to their isolation from the larger family unit.  No two people - no mere father and mother - as I have often said, are enough to provide emotional security for a child.  He needs to feel himself one in a world of kinfolk, persons of variety in age and temperament, and yet allied to himself by an indissoluble bond which he cannot break if he could, for nature has welded him into it before he was born.  ~Pearl S. Buck

Nobody has ever before asked the nuclear family to live all by itself in a box the way we do.  With no relatives, no support, we've put it in an impossible situation.  ~Margaret Mead


Families are like fudge - mostly sweet with a few nuts.  ~Author Unknown


If you don't believe in ghosts, you've never been to a family reunion.  ~Ashleigh Brilliant


We all grow up with the weight of history on us.  Our ancestors dwell in the attics of our brains as they do in the spiraling chains of knowledge hidden in every cell of our bodies.  ~Shirley Abbott


Family:  A social unit where the father is concerned with parking space, the children with outer space, and the mother with closet space.  ~Evan Esar


A family is a unit composed not only of children but of men, women, an occasional animal, and the common cold.  ~Ogden Nash


The family.  We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together.  ~Erma Bombeck


When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses.  ~Joyce Brothers


In some families, please is described as the magic word.  In our house, however, it was sorry.  ~Margaret Laurence


Family quarrels have a total bitterness unmatched by others.  Yet it sometimes happens that they also have a kind of
tang, a pleasantness beneath the unpleasantness, based on the tacit understanding that this is not for keeps; that any limb you climb out on will still be there later for you to climb back.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960


You don't choose your family.  They are God's gift to you, as you are to them.  ~Desmond Tutu


An ounce of blood is worth more than a pound of friendship.  ~Spanish Proverb


Blood's thicker than water, and when one's in trouble
Best to seek out a relative's open arms.
~Author Unknown

Erma Bombeck: You hear a lot of dialogue on the death of the American family. Families aren't dying. They're merging into big conglomerates.

Evelyn Waugh:  Don't hold your parents up to contempt. After all, you are their son, and it is just possible that you may take after them.

Francis Bacon:  He that hath a wife and children hath given hostages to fortune.

 

Francis Bacon: Important families are like potatoes. The best parts are underground.

George Bernard Shaw: If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.

George Bernard Shaw: Perhaps the greatest social service that can be rendered by anybody to this country and to mankind is to bring up a family.

George Burns:  Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.

George Santayana: The family is one of nature's masterpieces.

Harry S Truman: I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.

Helen Keller: A man can't make a place for himself in the sun if he keeps taking refuge under the family tree.

The happiness of the domestic fireside is the first boon of Heaven; and it is well it is so, since it is that which is the lot of the mass of mankind.  ~Thomas Jefferson, 1813


To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there.  ~Barbara Bush


When our relatives are at home, we have to think of all their good points or it would be impossible to endure them.  ~George Bernard Shaw


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.  ~Jane Howard


There is no cure for laziness but a large family helps.  ~Herbert Prochnov


Family quarrels are bitter things.  They don't go by any rules.  They're not like aches or wounds; they're more like splits in the skin that won't heal because there's not enough material.  ~F. Scott Fitzgerald

Isaac Rosenfeld: In every dispute between parent and child, both cannot be right, but they may be, and usually are, both wrong. It is this situation which gives family life its peculiar hysterical charm.

 

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.

 

Jessamyn West: Writing is a solitary occupation. Family, friends, and society are the natural enemies of the writer. He must be alone, uninterrupted, and slightly savage if he is to sustain and complete an undertaking.

 

John Donne: As states subsist in part by keeping their weaknesses from being known, so is it the quiet of families to have their chancery and their parliament within doors, and to compose and determine all emergent differences there.

 

John P. Kretzmann and John L. McKnight: Every single person has capabilities, abilities and gifts. Living a good life depends on whether those capabilities can be used, abilities expressed and gifts given. If they are, the person will be valued, feel powerful and well-connected to the people around them. And the community around the person will be more powerful because of the contribution the person is making.

 

Leo Tolstoy: Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. - opening line from Anna Karenina

 

Leo Tolstoy: All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

 

Margaret Mead: No matter how many communes anybody invents, the family always creeps back.

 

Margaret Mead: Nobody has ever before asked the nuclear family to live all by itself in a box the way we do. With no relatives, no support, we've put it in an impossible situation.

 

Marian Wright Edelman: If you as parents cut corners, your children will too. If you lie, they will too. If you spend all your money on yourselves and tithe no portion of it for charities, colleges, churches, synagogues, and civic causes, your children won't either. And if parents snicker at racial and gender jokes, another generation will pass on the poison adults still have not had the courage to snuff out.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Mary Randolph: Early rising is also essential to the good government of a family. A late breakfast deranges the whole business of the day, and throws a portion of it on the next, which opens the door for confusion to enter. (preface, The Virginia House-Wife, 1824)

 

Michael Levine: Having children makes you no more a parent than having a piano makes you a pianist.

 

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.

 

Sarah J. Hale: Nor need we power or splendor, wide hall or lordly dome;
The good, the true, the tender -- these form the wealth of home.

 

Shakespeare: The voice of parents is the voice of gods, for to their children they are heaven's lieutenants.

 

Sidonie Gruenberg: Home is the place where boys and girls first learn how to limit their wishes, abide by rules, and consider the rights and needs of others.

 

Theodore Hesburgh: The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.

 

Thomas Jefferson: The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family.

 

Thomas Moore: Family life is full of major and minor crises -- the ups and downs of health, success and failure in career, marriage, and divorce -- and all kinds of characters. It is tied to places and events and histories. With all of these felt details, life etches itself into memory and personality. It's difficult to imagine anything more nourishing to the soul.

 

Virginia Satir: Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible -- the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family.

 

William Shakespeare: It is a wise father that knows his own child.

 

Willie Brown: You would think that those who are always talking about family values would want to create an environment of permanent relationships for people of the same sex. But they're not advocating family values. They're advocating their values. - Mayor of San Francisco

 

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© 2008 Paul Kavanagh. All rights reserved.