Family Values

I had a debate with a licensed therapist yesterday. I think she was really playing devils advocate here.  We were discussing why family is important. Her view was that families are really just shitty to each other and why do we place such value on them? She further explained it’s not like we can pick them as we pick our friends. But I had a different view and expressed it to her.

To start, I consider culture a societies’ response to dealing with making life livable given their environment. So it follows that many societies deeply engrained with strong family values often come from sustience based living. The family is paramount for survival, because one cannot farm alone. Every society was once at this level. Enter the industrial revolution, grocery stores, pension plans and day cares, adoption, foster parenting,etc.   Family values have as a result deterioted for our  civilization because dependence on the family is no longer paramount for survival, at least not for the majority of your life. But we forget the very young and the very old. I see increased examples of terrible parenting, emotionally neglected children, not to mention the increasing number of divorces that places children in single parent homes, along with all the negatives that comes from that. Children that are with both parents are still often raised by day care centers, taught values through the school system. We outrage over abuses in the systems, chilren who are phsyically mistreated, em111otionally neglected and sometimes even killed at the hands of caregivers who are just doing a job and at times have no emotional investment in these childrens’ well-being.

Adults must scrimp and save and invest in pensions and prepare for the future at the expense of their children because no one will be there when they themselves are old. Now we’ve seen the rise of the nursing home industry and all the disgusting abuses that go along with that. We are raising neglected children who in turn become self-centered adults and neglect the elderly. I can’t help but wonder, what is going to happen to millions of elderly if all these pension plans continue to fail in today’s economy.

When the shit really hits the fan, we go back to our roots, our family. But can Western families really handle the shit? My thoughts? Family values are not just some antiquated or patriarchial cultures’ viewpoints. They provide a strong foundation to society.

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