The dissolution of the family is without doubt the main cause of the decline and fall of the United States. Crime, drug and alcohol abuse, dependence on government, out-of-wedlock births, laziness, ignorance of history, ‘self-esteemism’, envy and hatred of the rich…all of this and much, much more have roots in the collapsing family. (And the government has a vested interest in making sure that families stay dysfunctional…and therefore dependent… on the government. Hey, it’s tough to get and keep a well-compensated full-time job now…let alone one with this much power over others. Unless you’re in government of course. Our policies are ‘two-fers’! We keep our jobs and expand our power by telling you that you can’t succeed…and by making laws that make it much harder for you to succeed…without… us! “God, I love this country now that we’ve ‘fundamentally transformed’ it!).”
In days of yore a relative called ‘dad’ would lay down the law for his kids. Which meant he was actually there for his kids. And participated in their lives. Indeed, loved them so much he didn’t take the easy ways out. Didn’t split. Didn’t become their ‘bestest buddy’. Taught them right from wrong and encouraged them to be their best, and even abide by the Golden-Rule and the Ten Commandments. Disciplined them at all times. This ‘Father-Knows-Best’ era is mocked and reviled now and has given way to the ‘Two Broke Girls’ era.
Many people intuitively realize that the breakdown of the family is the root cause of many of our ills. If families are thriving, no need for government to ogle us and coddle us all our lives. Indeed if families were thriving, they’d tell the government where to go when the government tries to tell them what they can and can’t do, eat, think and say. This is, after all, our birthright as Americans. (Think Boston Tea Party, etc.).
What is not obvious to most Americans is the simple fact that what we have now, as opposed to what we had then, makes it so much harder for us to have functioning families. Our kids literally can not comprehend this. Let me explain. (And please explain this to your kids).
In this country’s formative years, there were no smart phones…indeed no cell phones. No phones at all. (Relate this to your urchins and hear them gasp). There were no computers. No I-Pads or Pods. No c.d. players. There was no television, let alone 300 cable stations. No video games, no electric heat or air-conditioning. No radios. No cars. No electricity.
Most people lived in the country, most of those on farms. Small farms, as there were no tractors or automated equipment to help with productivity. They just had lots of kids instead. They would do the work that had to be done.
These families were together most of the time and worked as a team…no alternative. They ate not just dinner, but almost all meals together. Dad would tell them about their family’s history. And expectations. “Son, you know Johnson’s are…Smith’s don’t…Johnson’s take pride in…remember, Smith’s do the right thing…”
Dad would pass down homilies or short history lessons as well. He’d talk about what made the country great. Let his offspring know that if they worked hard and kept their noses clean they’d be o.k. No limit to what they could achieve. Mom or dad would ask about their kids school day and friends. They knew their kids and their kid’s lives.
Today, if there is a dad and an actual meal is eaten at a table in the home, someone may text the family member next to them to pass the ketchup. There are typically no prayers beforehand and the t.v. may well be on… to “Survivor” or “Real Housewives”. Ironic. No real conversation ensues.
Immediately after dinner, mom goes to the upstairs television to watch ‘her shows’, dad goes downstairs to watch sports on t.v. or into his office to watch porn on the computer because he can’t get mom to pay any attention to him anymore. The son plays a video game in his room, and the young daughter goes to her room to blast Nicki Minaj ‘songs’ into her ears via her I-Pod.
Recently, I visited the first ‘house’ Laura Ingalls Wilder’s family occupied outside of Walnut Grove, Minnesota. It had one room. Total.
Telling the truth is risky business these days, but I’ll chance it. It doesn’t take a village…to raise a child. It takes a family.
And it takes families to make a village.