Bold Moves Back On The Path
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.