Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Friday, September 2, 2016

Patriotism begins at home

 Here is one for the sociologists. Is there a correlation between the division of the family unit and the division in society ? That is a thought that came to me as I was writing yesterdays posting. I was feeling a bit nostalgic with the beginning of fall looming on the horizon. The fall and winter months being the time we spent more time together as a family. That was due mostly to the weather and the limited activities one could do when it is freezing outdoors. But then I began to recall the times I would " work " with Dad. It was work because he was engaged in that activity to make money. I went along to help. The reality was I was being taught life lessons. We didn't think about that at the time, no one did, things were not analyzed as much as they are now. Having Dad as the boss wasn't easy, he was a stern taskmaster. But there was no quitting and no back talking. You just had to man up and do your job.
 I knew a few families that worked together as a business. Mostly it was fishing. Watermen or Baymen they call that occupation but they were just fishing to me. These families were tight knit groups that stuck together. They helped each other when they weren't fighting each other. Always  there was a bond, a very strong bond, that overshadowed anything else. Neighborhoods formed around these families. Yes, you could say it was" that " side of town or whatever, but it wasn't a bad thing. In fact I believe it was a very good thing. Families created neighborhoods and neighborhood towns. People were generally comfortable in their part of town, in their society. Often at odds with each other, like families tend to be, but a cohesive unit just the same. Towns were the same way and I think perhaps counties, states and the entire country. That is what these sociologists should study. Although I don't think it is really necessary. Still I guess if you want to " prove " it, it requires a PhD and millions spent on research and writing the paper.
 Some call that being patriotic. That is accurate enough as these folks are ready to defend their family, town or country. Can that be said about Americans today ? I don't think so. Was it ever true ? Well, maybe not 100% but the percentage was a great deal higher, of that I am certain. Patriotism begins at home. When we learn to be loyal to our family and our town, we learn to be loyal to our country. We learn that those things are much larger than ourselves. Loyalty and respect go hand in hand. When the family becomes divided, so does loyalty. What is being stressed today ? To go out on your own and make your way in the world. Isn't that what we are told ? To be independent and free. Is that very action causing this rift in America ? Every man for himself ! Well, that is what is being taught. The reasons for that are many and varied. I'm not saying that those same reasons are not valid, but I do believe they are contributing factors. It is the modern world though isn't it ? Few of us can stay at " home " and earn a living. We need to go out and find a job. Then we can start a family of our own. Ideally I think we should be a continuation of the family we already have. But, that isn't feasible in many cases. The result is we become divided. Divided by distance and loyalties. We begin to form our own family, neighborhoods and sometimes towns. The big difference now being those neighborhoods and towns are becoming gated communities, exclusive of outsiders, a division. Indeed that is why they are called sub-divisions.
 I wonder if this trend can be reversed. Has America grown too large ? America was formed by those folks of a like mind. At first it was the adventurers and explorers. They were curious and seeking a place to live free. A place were they could prosper by their own hand, independent of government and Kings. A man built his home and raised his family. They were a cohesive unit and worked for the good of the family. Towns formed to provide further protection. There is strength in numbers. Towns grew to become cities. Life in the town and the cities drew people from the land. They left their home and family to conduct the business of society. The became shop owners, merchants and bankers. Some went to work at the factories, producing goods for the masses. Now I can just purchase whatever I require, I am not dependent upon the family. The cities grew and grew until the city could no longer support the population. The " inner city " was born. To those folks living there to what do they owe allegiance ? And that is the problem. Their allegiance is only to themselves. That is what they are being taught by example. Every man for himself. Respect only applies to the individual ! I demand respect.
 This doesn't apply only to those in those inner cities however. This attitude can be found everywhere. I think that perhaps it stems from the division of the family. We are taught to grow up and move out. We are told that it is the path to success. And success means having money. It you have money, you are successful. Respect is given to the successful. Loyalties can be forfeited for success, just leave that behind you. That causes a division. Abraham Lincoln said it, a house divided against itself can not stand, and that is a truism. It all begins with family is my thinking. When we teach our children to be more concerned with the success of their brothers and sisters than their own, we will recover what is being lost. And what is being lost is America and a dream.