BEDROCK OF HUMANITY
Today’s modern world, under pressure from rapid urbanisation, industrialisation and modernisation, has resulted in a fabric of life that is becoming more intellectually and spiritually barren. These pres-sures have segmentalised our manner of living.
We may think we have erected a stupendous civil-ization; but we have not yet learned how to use it. The functions that families traditionally performed exceedingly well are now largely being surrendered to institutions. But all the ingenuity and resources of governments will be of little avail. You cannot cure people by institutions.
Families are the bedrock of all human society. Their fundamental importance and centrality is incalculable. Future generations can only be created from families – each in turn gaining in maturity and self-sufficiency to create and provide for subsequent generations.
When governments, whether through sheer indifference, neglect or ineptitude, allow families to deteriorate, outcomes invariably result in dysfunctional so-cieties. By this simple observation alone, family units must take priority over society as a whole. Civilization’s survival depends on it.
Now that a majority of fathers and mothers are seeking careers away from each other and their home, now that they are stripped off the burdens of children and household encumbrances, what is left for them to be companionable about?
Families no longer ‘do things together’ as much as the way our grandparents’ did. Influences which are estranging wives and husbands are also producing a gulf between successive generations. Parents and children today don’t know one another as intimately as in former days. If, through our segmentalised manner of living, children are deprived of the steadying influence of their parents, it is no less certain that parents are losing their children to other forms of influence.
The break-up of home life does not, as some think, liberate the young from the tyranny and repression of an older generation. For what really enslaves the young is not the customs of the past, but too narrow a relationship of love and nurturing.
Within this context, I submit, that the content of family life is not changing; it is disappearing. It’s time we all look seriously into repairing its fabric not through statistics, not through compliance-driven programmes, but through desired out-comes determined by families themselves.
For that to happen, we need to start listening to their voices, stories, and conversations again.