Saturday, May 5, 2012
It Ain’t Over …
I have taken notice lately of an obvious changing tide in the USA.
At the turn of the 20th century, people, throughout their lifetimes, did not travel far from their birth places. Transportation was relatively primitive compared to the modes of today, so families remained connected within a 25-50 mile diameter. The result was a closer bonding among family members, where grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and in-laws took active roles in helping to formulate family and societal values. We learned to be independent and self-sufficient, and while we rarely leaned on our relatives, the strong support system was always there for back up.
With the advent of automobiles, railroad trains, airplanes, and fast-moving ships, families scattered to settle our vast nation. Most of us now have relatives in Maine, California, Minnesota, and Hawaii, with whom we occasionally share quality time. No citations are required to prove the changing structure of the American family. Yet for the plus 40 crowd, the world is morphing once again.
The tired-from-hunting-and-nest-building bird frees its young from the safety of the tree only to see them fly back, hungry, with no game plan, chanting, “Where’s the worm to which I am entitled? It’s not fair”!
My questions are simply these: How do we abandon the values imparted to us through our strong family bonds of the past? How do we justify not being there for our children who have only been shaving for 15 years? When is the parental obligation over?
Our minds have the answers, but our hearts are anchored.
Maybe, it’s time for a new series of lessons. Sing us a tune, Madame.