25 Famous Quotes on Family

What is family? Find out what these 25 great minds had to say about it

A family taking a selfie together
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With so many unique personalities that make up a family, sometimes it's tough to find common ground. And yet, families are the most defining of all human relationships.

The theme of family is a recurring one that great minds have speculated on and remarked about for as long as there has been language to record human thought. Read on to find out what some famous folks had to say on the subject.

Famous Quotes on Family

Erma Bombeck: “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.”

Leo Tolstoy: “All happy families resemble one another; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

Legouve Pere: “A brother is a friend provided by nature.”

Eva Burrows: “In family life, love is the oil that eases friction, the cement that binds closer together, and the music that brings harmony.”

Jim Rohn: “Your family and your love must be cultivated like a garden. Time, effort, and imagination must be summoned constantly to keep any relationship flourishing and growing.”

Jeannette Walls, “The Glass Castle”: “Mom always said people worried too much about their children. Suffering when you're young is good for you, she said. It immunized your body and your soul, and that was why she ignored us kids when we cried. Fussing over children who cry only encouraged them, she told us. That's positive reinforcement for negative behavior.”

Marsha Norman: “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.”

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

Marie Curie: “I have frequently been questioned, especially by women, of how I could reconcile family life with a scientific career. Well, it has not been easy.”

Robert Frost: “Home is the place, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.”

Anais Nin: “I know why families were created with all their imperfections. They humanize you. They are made to make you forget yourself occasionally, so that the beautiful balance of life is not destroyed.”

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

William S. Gilbert: “My family pride is something inconceivable. I can't help it. I was born sneering.”

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

Brad Henry: “Families are the compass that guides us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter.”

Dalai Lama: “I pray for a more friendly, more caring, and more understanding human family on this planet. To all who dislike suffering, who cherish lasting happiness, this is my heartfelt appeal.”

Mark Twain: “Adam was the luckiest man; he had no mother-in-law.”

Buddha: “A family is a place where minds come in contact with one another.”

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.”

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

Charles Lamb: “A poor relation is the most irrelevant thing in nature, a piece of impertinent correspondence, an odious approximation, a haunting conscience, a preposterous shadow, lengthening in the noon-tide of our prosperity. He is known by his knock.”

English Proverb: “A small family is soon provided for.”

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

Mitch Albom, “The Five People You Meet in Heaven”: “All parents damage their children. It cannot be helped. Youth, like pristine glass, absorbs the prints of its handlers. Some parents smudge, others crack, a few shatter childhoods completely into jagged little pieces, beyond repair.”

Margaret Atwood, “The Handmaid's Tale”: “No mother is ever, completely, a child's idea of what a mother should be, and I suppose it works the other way around as well. But despite everything, we didn't do too badly by one another, we did as well as most.”