I realized this when I was still a little kid. And very few people that I have discussed this with actually agree with me. We have been taught, perhaps brainwashed is a better word, that our family is the most important thing for us. When I say "family" I mean to say what the word normally means, that is, your relatives who share the same family tree that you have.
I have heard so many people say throughout my short life, so many times that I cannot keep track of it, "I love him because he is my blood", or a variation, "we must love our family because they are part of our blood". I despise this dreadful comment against the intellect. What does relations to another person have anything to do with the virtues of another person? The fact that I am related to someone does not imply that he is virtuous, and so it follows I cannot consider him more important than non-relatives or strangers.
Two brothers do not have to love each other despite what society has taught us. Just because two brothers are the same blood is entirely irrelevant. All what "we are the same blood" means is to say that we both came out of the same vagina. That is it. Or perhaps not from the same vagina but that somewhere along our ancestors they came out of the same vagina. Why should I love someone more because he came out of the same vagina? I am not trying to be erotic, well that is not true, I am, but the real reason why I bring up the vagina argument is because I want to show how absurd the "we are the same blood" argument is.
Family is therefore unimportant. What is important is friendship. Friendship is the result of cooperation and agreement between people not the result of some mere accident of birth depending whose vagina it was. I really hate to get Biblical but I want to try to appeal to my religious readers. In Proverbs 18:24 it says, "sometimes a friend is closer than a brother". Rav Hirsch comments on this verse saying that friendship is the result of choice, therefore, friendship can far exceed people's blood relations.
Instead of people telling their good friends, "you are like family to me" (I hate this phrase so very much), people should tell their families, "you are a friend to me". I am not saying you should hate your mother now. I love my mother. But I love my mother not because she gave birth to me, but because she is very important to me. She is a good mother who helped me very much. That is why I love her. My "family" happens to consist of so many unrelated people. No one in my family have a same last name. That is how biologically unrelated we are. But it never bothers me. Blood relations are meaningless to me.
If a relative of yours invites you to a meal and a good friend does also. Give your relative a middle finger and go over to your friend if you are not close with your relative. Why should you come over to his house? Just because it is social norms? Screw social norms. It is time to have a revolution in social norms. Friendship. That is were it is all at. Not family.
I love my friends because they have proven themselves to me to be virtuous people. What has ever my blood relatives every done to deserve me love? What have they done that proves their virtuous character? Nothing at all.
Yes, this means you do not have to come over to a funeral of some relative who died and you did not really know him. I am not supportive of funerals. I think they are a waste of time because they are essentially based on the idea that there is life after death. And even the secular funerals are a waste of time. Dead do not need to be honored, only the living, because they are dead and do not exist any longer. But even if you disagree with my position regarding funerals you should agree with me that you do not have to go to relative funerals any longer. It all should be the funerals of friends.
Nationalism, racism, and family are all the exact same fallacy extended to the various sizes of people. Nationalism is based on which country people are born. Racism is based on the relationship to one another as a species. Family is based on whose vagina we came out of. All of these three things are just as stupid. It is good that most people see racism as repulsive. And some people already agree that nationalism is repulsive. But few still see the concept of family blood relations as repulsive. Hopefully, in the future there will be a revolution in the ethics of people that will make them realize the error of their ways.