Thursday, March 4, 2010

The F Word

Since the dawn of time Families have always been a considerably important aspect of community and civilization alike. The Family has been re-defined numerously over the centuries, reinvented and re-approached while reinforcing new ideals into it. Today, it is considered a collaboration of various individuals that are bonded either by blood, marriage or affinity. The original formation of a family has slowly been losing its importance and impact on people, both individually and communally.

A family is like a tree. It has its roots and from those roots forms a trunk, the base, the solid foundation. As the years pass it begins growing larger, buds slowly developing in different directions, but still, everything is attached all the way down to the roots. Soon branches are formed and they continue to grow, forming leaves and seeds which can be planted to grow more trees. They require the light of day to be most productive and depend on nutrients from the earth's soil and water to develop and stay healthy. Some branches become sick and it requires energy from the entire tree to restore it no normal. Sometimes, branches even die and yet, for some time, they stay attached. Sure, they can always be cut off, but eventually they will fall off on their own. The tree will continue growing and developing seeds and leaves, that is, until it is damaged. As soon as a living branch is cut off of it, it is weakened, it's production slows down, concentrating mostly on the injured portion. The more branches that are cut off, the weaker and weaker it gets. If too many branches are cut and the tree is unable to heal itself properly, not effort is given (or can be given because there are too many cuts), then the entire tree can die. A family is like a tree because regardless of how big it is, how many people are involved in it, they are all apart of it, they are all attached. Both of them require maintenance, care and appreciation in order to survive and not a single branch can survive solely on its own.

The term family is common throughout history, in fact, in religious contexts, it has been around since the creation of mankind. Adam and Eve were the first “Nuclear Family.” Since then Families have slowly evolved and developed from a Husband and a Wife with their own children to anywhere from a Wife and a Wife with an adopted kid from a war-torn or oppressed nation to a Single Woman with Six children from six different fathers. The strength of Families, and also within them, has also dwindled incredibly. There were times when children respected parents and also a time when parents were respectable enough to call themselves such. People used to proud of their families and their ancestry, families were big, sometimes entire communities consisted of a few families, or even one largely extended family. They were important and are important because, just think, if even one link is missing, that effects every link following it. My grandparents made it out of war-torn Poland and came to Canada (I posted an earlier post on this), but if they hadn't, let alone had they not met, I would not be here today typing this.

Many children that are born into this world without are born without marital consent, in some cases forcing a marriage and legal family to be formed (this was known in the early 20th Century as a “Shot-gun wedding” because the father of the bride would sometimes have a shotgun at the wedding ceremony to ensure the groom married his pregnant daughter. [abortions were not allowed because they didn't agree with ending any human life]). Most people are not truly ready to be parents, or do not care enough and so they irresponsibly raise their child(ren). We were all children before and we should be thankful for being alive in the first place and appreciate whoever it was that brought us into this world, but it is up to the parents to be “parents.” A child is a creation between a man and a woman, both have equal responsibility of their actions. There are consequences for every choice we make, so take responsibility for your actions. There are plenty of single mothers and fathers out there who are doing a better job than two parents put together. A mother and father should both have a part in a child's life, and it would be best if he child was in a “family” of both the paternal parents, but either way, that child needs guidance into this world and it is up to the parents to their job.

Families are being forgotten and in a lot of ways it is difficult for people to securely maintain one. It is only difficult because the choices are a) so few, b) so askew. Without substantial merit or abundant cause within society, they are basically irrelevant. There is a major independence streak in today's society that is effecting not only the imagery of Families but also the actual existence of them. Three major reasons for this decline are: 1) Government, 2) Education [correlation to the first point], and 3) Media [also in correlation to the first point]. Basically, to sum it up those three aspects are in a combined trend that has, over time, corrupted, tainted and devolved the Families true sanctity, leaving us with a scattered puzzle. Bottom line is that, regardless of where you fit into the puzzle, you are still one of the pieces that make it complete. A family is a family, regardless of who and what makes it such and it is up to those people and those people alone to make sure that it is in tact.

The importance of Families have been undermined so much that, today, a parents role is nearly a role at all (this role has been in a downward spiral since government took control of Families). They can be a huge portion of support and when you break it down, every one of us comes from one and every community is a collaboration comprised of them. Logically and simply put: We all need Family, we are all a part of one. Why go through the trouble of it being trouble when we can have it to benefit ourselves and the others in it. It should be a strongly-bonded and closely knit group of people of sharing or similar beliefs that look to each other for support, guidance and appreciation. We should appreciate who we are and what we have in this world, especially our family, after all, we do share the same blood.

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