M.I.A.: The American Family
Most of us grew up in traditional families. We had a mom, dad, maybe one or more brothers or sisters, —the typical US family unit in Anytown, USA.
But all that changed in 2014. Today’s American family is M.I.A. “Missing in Action.”
Married vs. Unmarried
In 2014, for the first time, unmarried adult Americans outnumbered their married counterparts. Thirty-one million singles lived alone compared with about 4 million loners in 1950.
In a Pew Research Center Study only 30 percent of Millennials, those born between 1980 and 2000, said a successful marriage was not one of life’s most important things to them.
In 2010 those surveyed said marriage was becoming obsolete.
It no longer serves a useful purpose.
Gay Marriage vs. Traditional Marriage
In view of current Supreme Court ruling it seems strange that one group, the LGBT’s, are fighting so hard for the benefits of marriage while opposite sex couples seem to be attaching more meaning to being able to walk out the door at any time with zero commitment or responsibility.
It’s often surprising that some people place a very high value on things but others see little or no value at all in the same thing.
Perhaps it’s not the same thing after all.
Marriage, while it can be either a religious or civil ceremony often leads to a family unit. Not all people can or chose to have children. But that’s not the entirety of the family unit.
It’s the families that hold America together. If you don’t have family what have you got? Not much.
As much as you would like to think so, friends, as good as they are, have a limit to their sacrifice for you. They have their own families to look out for.
A family member will go a lot further to provide whatever help or support you might need than even your closest friend.
Your girlfriend, boyfriend, or “shackup partner” is not your family. The door is never locked for them. They can be gone in moments.
There is no family commitment holding them there. No consequences once the threshold is crossed.
If you are “shacking up” and have a child how can you possibly commit to that child when you can’t even commit to each other?
I realize you made heartfelt vows and professed undying love to each other during a commercial break while watching “Dancing With The Stars,” but I question how much weight that carries in the real world.
It won’t get you in the emergency room as a family member.
Some Final Thoughts
There’s a lot more to a family than just crawling out of the same bed each morning. The family is the original support system. I can beat up on my brother but don’t you dare try it.
As our moral compass spins in all directions the message of the Cheshire Cat character in “Alice in Wonderland” becomes clear. “If you don’t know where you’re going any road will do.”
I hope American families will find their way back to the right road.
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