Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Parenting

Allan Bloom talks about how our culture is affected by the knowledge on the part of both children and parents that at some point they will likely leave and never return.  They will travel for education, then career or marriage, and even if there is a reunion in a happy family once or twice a year, the relationship will have changed permanently.

And as he points out, the possibility of separation is already the fact of separation.  You have to prepare yourself psychologically.  And one has to wonder how this changes the relationship between parents and their children.  They know they will not depend on their children in their old age, as was the habit of the world until the present age.  Their children view it as their job to get out of their control, and to become economically and psychologically independent as soon as possible.

Do parents--especially mothers--sometimes unconsciously soften their children, make them more dependent and less able, in order to reduce the chance of their figurative voyage overseas, leaving them all alone?

And how has the nature of the necessary relationship between children and their parents--again, especially the mother, who is the emotional center of most homes--altered the maturation process.  In past ages, you would stay or--if at war or engaged in commerce--return to your home and extended family, your community within the community.

We no longer have communities within communities.  Most of the time, we do not even maintain the so-called nuclear family.

Now, I am speaking here of suburbanites and city people.  In the countryside, much of the old ways remain.  People are born, stay, and die in the same small place, where they have family, and know everyone.  This makes their culture, their expectations of others, very different than those who live in continual anxiety brought on the necessary social separations which their very different acculturation causes them to view as necessary.

People need people.  We all need to feel we belong, are understood, are valued independently of our economic worth, and can love and be loved without fear of loss outside of those which come with life.

I have made some significant progress in my own healing in recent days.  I may post on it, and I may not.  But I do continue to ruminate about how we get from here to a healthy global culture 100 years from now.  It is quite possible.  All the elements are there.  But we have to stop acting like and making love to machines. 

No comments: