Family In The 21st Century: Update

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: There is less in common among us today; old community traditions gradually disappear. It would seem that the world is permeated with many relationships and “stitched together” with advanced networks of communication… However, a real platform of interconnection and unity has vanished.

On what basis can we build a common “infrastructure?” What unites people, primarily at the family level, while the former types of connections collapse?

Answer: This is the problem. Previously, the natural bond among us was based on three factors, three basic needs: food, sex, family. But today, everything has changed.

First of all, prepared food is readily available everywhere, my future wife may not even know how to cook. So, by staying single we add a big fat “plus” to our existence.

Furthermore, sex is totally accessible and available to everybody these days. Moreover, we are brought up in this spirit. Even if we want to maintain a solid, permanent relationship, the world confuses us with its standards, all the while reminding us about how much we “lose” if we stick to the “old-fashioned” approaches. So, our environment draws a big “minus” in the “family box.”

Thirdly, the mere notion of “family” scares us off since it imposes obligations and “incarcerates” us in the prison of endless responsibilities.

As a consequence, we obviously have to create a model of a different family structure that is no longer based on unrealistic images of modest girls with braids wearing long dresses. The patriarchal family has vanished, along with the domestic arrangement of three generations maintaining a traditional household with a big backyard, chickens, and a vegetable garden. A new family is around the corner, which apparently has to acquire a very different form.

In the family we see a piece, a small cell of the global system. We teach people how to maintain the relationship as the correct universal connection that corresponds to nature; this is necessary for survival in this contemporary society. We must come to mutual reciprocity and unity, as in the example of a unified system, a single mechanism, one living body capable of balancing itself, controlling its life, and taking care of its overall health. This is how a healthy biological organism functions, and this is a model of how human society has to behave. We should learn from these examples and bring them closer to our level of existence.

We have to treat a family “cell” according to this principle; we should treat it as a part of a common “body.” It has two opposite poles, a man and a woman that are connected to each other and represent a basic social unit. Integral education will show people that we are obligated by nature to unite and shows us that unity is the only correct attitude we can possibly exercise in life.

When people see and feel this, public opinion will change: t will become clear that marriage is necessary for the relationship and for the family units that comprise society, which will also be like one big family. The whole world will be like one big family. This is the only way to achieve genuine success, rid ourselves of frustration and despair, resolve oppressive problems, and enter a new period and new, unprecedented lives.

This is the only possible method. We cannot succeed on our own if we stick to a narrow personal approach. Everything we do has to be a part of a common concern about making our society as one family. And I repeat: the collective opinion plays the key role here. It will obligate young people to connect as correct family couples.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 9/6/13

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One Comment

  1. This is a lovely post and true. The family is a small group which, when functioning properly, is a caring support system which goes beyond the individual ego. The problem today, especially in the wealthier parts of the world, is that this connection requires a great deal of time and effort as well as a bit of sacrifice. The connection is often deemed less valuable than the external and temporal gratification that is found so easily when material wealth is abundant. This is very sad because at the end of the day going beyond oneself to truly care about someone else, feeling the pleasure in that, and hopefully receiving it in return is worth far more than an ephemeral possession, whatever that may be.. Also, the three generation family. living in close quarters, provided a support system that is rarely found these days….also a lot of interference, but you can’t have everything.

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