Being the guy who always hears about people’s problems, I’ve sometimes noticed that “family” is a big source of problem for people. It’s enough to ask me exactly what is going on with our culture.
Oh, sure there are plenty of functional families, and many functional-enough families. But when my friends come to me with stories of their familial trainwrecks, I have to really wonder just what’s going on. How does a social unit decay as far as some of these do.
I mean at times it gets absolutely outrageous – I don’t know how many times I’ve seen parents outright sabotage their own children, surprising as you’d think this whole propagation-survival thing would be preventing that.
Or watching families descent into destructive spirals that sabotage what stability they do have.
Or watching relatives fight over a will, ensuring that they’ve alienated each other and destroyed what they had for a few bucks.
It’s honestly pretty depressing – and I always get to hear about it.
Then when you watch your usual TV Schmaltz about the importance of family (about every other Disney cartoon) it never seems to ask what family is, what it’s about, and how people make it work. Maybe part of the problem in our culture is family is just a commodity, a resource to be exploited, a brand name. We don’t realize we have to make it work.
Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach. He blogs on careers at http://www.musehack.com/, publishes books on career and culture at http://www.informotron.com/, and does a site of creative tools at http://www.seventhsanctum.com/. He can be reached at https://www.stevensavage.com/.