I've written about this before, but since I'm on a roll, let's visit us again.
Family is everything. I don't have studies to cite on this but they are there. There is security in family, love- a love that rarely would come from anyone else. Belonging. Where a person's world view is formed ( and sometimes a lack of family forms this). A family is no laughing matter.
We don't need better schools, we need better families. In general- I'm not saying your family needs to be better. We just need stronger families.
To me, my family comes before money and time to myself. I would rather have a family that valued me than gave me stuff. Here, I must point out that I do still have an "away from home" job that, thankfully, has given opportunity for me to work when we need money- and it gives me time away and some extra validation that is very refreshing. We work for money for many different reasons. Sometimes it is out of necessity and sometimes it is out of greed- for money, power, or a reason to get away. Each family has to make it's own decision and I am not here to judge individuals. Some families have two working parents but still have family as a priority....some have AMAZING single parents that somehow do it all. I am in awe of these people. At any rate, it is clear to me that as a society we have mixed up some priorities.
Extended family is a little different matter. They are different than friends- even though some are friends. It's just that we don't get to pick them. I think that you can either resent who you got stuck with or embrace them. That does not mean let them walk all over you, but I am convinced that on a pie chart of grace distribution, family would get the largest slice.
My families have given experiences and exposures that overwhelm my thoughts. The further away from the core, the more history is preserved. The more memories are made. The more insight is built. Shame on those that manipulate or bully family members. Shame on those for taking each other for granted. Shame on the ones that compare and control, and those that jump to conclusions based on a speck of knowledge. But even if one has some or all of these types, he or she would be better off to heap on the grace (mixed in with proportional wisdom). And if at all possible, don't burn bridges completely.
If you are in a situation that may hurt relationships, destroy the situation in order to preserve the relationship. Error on the side of family. I sincerely believe one day we will fully understand the purpose of this institution, and will kick ourselves for not valuing the jewel that it is.