The Broken Connection Between Generations

Dr. Michael LaitmanOnce we thought that human egoistic development could be infinite, that we would continue to invent wonderful new machines, that every person would have his own plane, and we would have unprecedented ways to connect. But eventually, the person consuming all these things suddenly discovers that he does not want any more of it; what is it all for? He feels emptiness and lack of fulfillment in all of this.

Why does it not bring him satisfaction? The problem is that the entire development happens through the desires, which are constantly growing. And suddenly they stopped growing! On the contrary, we feel many desires actually go backward.

Once a person wanted to have a big family, the bigger the better, many children, and even many wives. Then it became unnecessary; one wife and two children were enough, even one child was enough. And today he no longer wants even that. Life is becoming so hard and complicated that people do not want to leave their parents’ home in developed countries until they are 30-40 years old.

A person works and spends all his money on himself; why does he need a wife and children? He can travel, rest, have fun, and feel free. His mother takes care of him and he is happy.

We have built a society with such a developed infrastructure that we can buy prepared foods in supermarkets; just heat it up in the microwave and dinner is ready. There is no need to share an apartment with anyone; a person can have his own, and he feels free. And once I get old, I am entitled to a pension, medical insurance, hospital care, and a plot in the cemetery; what else is there for me? Is it worth spending my entire life working hard?

Our ego is becoming so huge that we feel incapable of connecting with others, investing our energy in them, caring for them so they later would care for us. I do not feel capable of connecting with anyone this much.

Or we have an opportunity to unite under mutually beneficial conditions, and my wife and I live as two friends, partners. Our life resembles more than just two people living together, a real family, as it used to be. I work, and she works. She does something around the house, and I do something. She pays and I pay.

We equally participate in everything. This is not the kind of family where the husband once was the master, the head of the household; he worked and provided for the wife who was at home bringing up the children. Now both of them leave home early, drop the children off at day care or kindergarten, come home at night, and pick up the children. And how much time do they have left at home? They almost do not even see each other. He watches a little television or sits at the computer, she quickly wipes a little dust, washes the dishes, throws the laundry in the washing machine, and that is it, the day is done.

Now they are completely equal, not like it used to be when one was higher and another was lower, where there was the head of the household, the master. In other words, family has lost its initial structure and has become a simple partnership. And if this is nothing but a partnership agreement, I will always try to see whether it benefits me. I enter this union if it is beneficial to me, and I leave it if it is not. And this is why people divorce and do not even wish to form these unions.

This is a fact. And we are studying the causes of it. Our ego has grown so much that it tells us that we should not enter the kind of partnerships called marriage.

A person’s ego has caused him to stop feeling that his children are close to him, like parts of his own soul. The children have their own lives; they study in places very far from us. The difference between the generations is becoming so huge that children are becoming completely separated from their parents. They have a different education, different interests, and they are so far from me that I can barely understand what they are speaking of, what they do, and what matters to them.

The connection between the generations has been broken. So, why would I even need these children? What pleasure is there in having them? They just want me to give them money and be quiet. We still enjoy them while they are little. But we lose any connection with them as they turn twelve.

In the good old days, a person would bring up his children, then he waited to have grandchildren and helped bring them up; he enjoyed them all. But I don’t have this today because my children do not want to marry and give me grandchildren.

A person doesn’t make these calculations consciously, but his lack of desire to have a family happens naturally based on our developed egoism.

We were developing demographically in a very rapid, exponential manner, and suddenly our development started to even out. Demographic specialists, who make prognoses for human development, predict that the number of people in the world will be undergoing a very sharp decrease in the near term. So far the population is still increasing due to a number of regions, mostly in Arabic countries, where there are still strong traditions and religious rules regarding developing and having many children.

But in developed Arabic countries, people now have 2-3 children instead of 10-15 children as it was before. So we see that they are quickly catching up to the rest of the world.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” Episode 1, 12/27/11

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