Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Bold Moves Back On The Path

Those who argue for the strong nuclear family ideal need a bolder view of family.

Nuclear families are too vulnerable to the many onslaughts from modern threats. Divorce, addiction, the expansion of individualism, peer pressures, harsh economic realities , serious illness, and many more forces are threatening to all family types. These forces can too easily turn a two parent family into an economically and culturally vulnerable single parent family or a dysfunctional two parent family.

Looking at the nuclear family as the ideal is short sighted. It iwould be like looking at a single Conestoga wagon, then saying it was the ideal way to move your family across the dangerous western frontier. Rather, it was the formation of many wagons into wagon trains that offered the ideal.

Wagon trains were made up of a number of families united in a purpose. Their purpose was not much different than what families face today. Their purpose was to deal with adversity while moving forward towards greater opportunity. Is their any nuclear, blended, single parent ,or any other type of family which does not have this dual purpose? Dealing with adversity and opportunity is the dual purpose of life.

This is not to imply that it takes a village to raise a child. It is an argument for braiding the nuclear family to its extended family. This in turn makes for stronger social capital and benificial ties to a wider community. Of course this also applies to single parent families.

This is not an argument for turning the clock back to a better time. Rather , it is a challenge to get back on the right path.

Imagine, a wagon train that has found it has wandered off the intended trail. A well led wagon train can pick up the correct trail at a point forward of where it left off. Thus, bypassing parts of the correct path. By moving forward, the wagon train can avoid wasting time, energy and resources. Too often, the argument for stronger families seems like a return to the past. In reality it is only a call to get back on the right path.

How did a wagon train fulfill its purpose?

First, came a bold view of the opportunity that was ahead. Next a realization that both expected and unexpected adversities required unity. Then came the many incremental steps that went into planning, funding, supplying and moving forward.

With this analogy, I hope to illustrate , that we make conscious efforts to form a bolder view of what a strong family really is.


Friday, June 15, 2007

Reinvigorate Fathers Day

Lets add something to the celebration of Fathers Day! In addition to remembering our fathers present & past, lets encourage the fathers of the future.

Why not send cards to promising young men to celebrate the hope of fatherhood? I am sure many young men may find this a bitter pill. It may seem like mom always hinting about marriage. However, it is really about being a man.

On Fathers Day, what gifts might we give to the newly married young men which celebrates the manly purpose of marriage? What heirlooms can be passed on?

In addition to what is said and written about the past memories of our fathers, let us see and hear from those that advocate for the future of fatherhood.

What Fathers day events can we reinvigorate with this added purpose?

Lets reinvigorate the day and lets reinvigorate this important aspect of life.


Saturday, June 02, 2007

Extended Family As A Technology

We might benefit from pondering upon family as technology.

Richard Nelson of Columbia University Identifies Physical Technology which consists of what we traditionally think of as technology such as:stone tools, steam engines, telephone,aviation etc.

Nelson also identifies Social Technology defined as ways of organizing people to do things. Commonly this would be thought of as partnerships, forms of governments, corporations , associations, clubs, guilds, unions professional associations etc.


Sunday, August 20, 2006

How -- and What -- Americans Eat At Night Hardly Resembles The Tables of Decades Ago |

Monday, August 14, 2006

Is one gender better at uniting family than another?

My answer to this question is somewhat ambiguous. It depends upon for what purpose and for what duration of time. I think matriarchs are very good at keeping their families united. Especially, as it concerns immediate economic needs. However, this type of strong family is more likely to dissipate it's power after the matriarch is either deceased or her economic well being has been assured.

On the other hand my observation is that families united by patriarchal motives have differing tendencies. I believe that patriarchal motives tend more toward a long lasting legacy. I think that many patriarchs may seem to be creating rivalries and creating competitors among family members. Especially, in how they play favorites among siblings. However, this tendency is designed to strengthen individuals or select individuals that aid the patriarchs long lasting legacy. In other words the family is united around the need for strength and around an authoritarian model. This serves a different purpose. A purpose that is aligned with the evolved patriarchal instincts and motives to participate in the nurturing process.

The rise in single moms along with families with fewer children has diminished much of the patriarchal motives for marriage. Furthermore, male dynastic instincts become latent as women have gained influence. This is not a feminist conspiracy. Rather, it is the result of women's rising status as heads of households, along with the natural motives of the child bearing women. It is the nature that leads to nurture, which in turn leads to family types.

It is my opinion, when there is an opportunity to blend patriarchal and matriarchal motives the result is an extraordinary family type. What we often see as dysfunctional family is the result of a failure to blend the motives of each gender towards a unified family scheme.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

BAW: Guardianship Programs Help Black Grandparents Perpetuate Extended Family Traditions

The following article shows how our laws and government agencies can get behind extended family values. Unfortunately, it also shows how this is not always the case.
BAW: Guardianship Programs Help Black Grandparents Perpetuate Extended Family Traditions

Friday, August 11, 2006

Family firm builds on area's home market - Orlando Sentinel : Business

Not only is this a family business, it also has included floor plans that accomidate extended families. It illustrates how a growing Hispanic culture may affect the future of family lifestyles.
Family firm builds on area's home market - Orlando Sentinel : Business