Monthly Archives: June 2016

The place of a family in the modern society

family

Relationships, what has become of them nowadays? Once upon a time, people would meet new acquaintances and they would agree to go out for coffee or lunch and gradually some new romance would brew. It was a step by step process that would eventually lead to the creation of a new family.  Nowadays the picture is very different though. People don’t put so much emphasis on dating, mostly the preliminaries are skipped and the two go straight to engaging in coitus.

When most old people are asked to give their two cents worth on the matter, they say young people have become very promiscuous. Normally I would be on the front line disputing that because I’m in that age group, but it just so happens that I’m in total agreement with the old folks.

The other day I was riding in a bus. I was seated next to a young man whom I imagined couldn’t have been older than thirty. He seemed a bit chatty and though I wasn’t in a talking mood, thanks to my introversion, I kept nodding.

To his delight, an older woman came and sat next to him. She seemed chatty too and before we knew it the two were exchanging excited banter. From what I gathered the young lad had sneaked from work in the afternoon and was headed to another place for a job interview.

Excitedly he told the lady how he had to get a job so he could take care of the children he was going to get in future.

“Are you married?” The lady asked him.

“I’m not married,” he replied freely. “And I don’t plan on it.”

“Why’s that?” The lady continued.

“Nowadays people don’t marry. A guy just gets a woman who gives birth to his children.”

“But shouldn’t those children be raised by both parents?” The woman asked, curiosity palpable in her voice.

“Not necessarily. Nowadays there are no women who are worth marrying. But since guys still want children, it’s easier to just find a woman who will agree to give us children.”

“Don’t you think the children will want to know who their father is?” The lady prodded further.

“Of course I’ll introduce myself to my children. Only I won’t be living with them. Maybe I’ll just be visiting once in a while and then I’ll be giving their mom money for their upkeep.”

As I listened in on that conversation, I couldn’t help but pity the current young generation. In my humble opinion, most guys seem to have lost the essence of what a family represents in society. Most people seem to think that it’s ok to just sire kids outside wedlock. And in some cases, most guys are siring children with more than woman while the women get children with different men.

This begs the question, do we as young people value families anymore? Or what they represent in society? A few years ago, while in high school, I learned that the family is the basic unit of society. Most values a child learns are picked up from these basic units.

In my family for instance, mom would have split from dad ages ago, were it not for the simple fact that she wanted us (my sisters and I) to grow in a complete family. Personally I don’t think that’s always important, given that if the parents are not in harmony, the whole idea of raising children in a complete family could even be to the children’s detriment instead of benefitting them.

My sisters and I for instance. We grew up in what outsiders would term a ‘complete family’, but deep down my sisters and I know the pain and suffering we’ve gone through. So, even though I advocate for families to continue being nurtured, I know they are not always advantageous to the children, or even spouses who suffer stoically at the hands of their partners, so they can raise their kids in a complete family.

So, back to that guy in the bus. From the things he told that lady, I would surmise he grew up in a complete family himself; with his mother, father and siblings. What he fears now, or seems to be afraid of is that the available women are not worth marrying, for instance, because they are too materialistic.

Personally I can’t even blame him. I know many ladies nowadays have embraced the ‘no romance without finance’ concept. However, I’m still of the opinion that we shouldn’t take for granted this small units in society. They are not worthless as many would imagine. They have their perks too.

So instead of giving up on them, we should try to find better partners. I believe that where someone presumes they won’t find a credible partner because ‘all women’ or ‘all men’ are the same, we already close our minds to the possibility of getting good life partners. We should be optimistic. There may not be too many people out there who seem to have the qualities we such for, but I believe they are there. And besides, we should also take our children’s needs into consideration. I would want to believe it’s every child’s dream to be raised by both parents.

Where life presents so many obstacles that two partners are separated, it’s ok for their kids to be raised by one parent, but if it’s our preconceived assumptions that hinder us from trying at least, then I think for our kids, we should try.

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