Exploring consensual reality in American society.
As the title suggests, today is not Father’s Day. But that’s really okay, because in my corner of the world, the day each year that is proclaimed Father’s Day (along with several other alleged holidays) is nothing more than a ruse, a sham, conceived and perpetrated upon the American people back during the Great Depression. To pick one day to celebrate in one particular month doesn’t have anything to do with honoring our fathers; it has to do with stimulating the economy during a month that has no other days of significance, where people can be convinced to buy gifts.
I don’t have my father anymore; he passed away in 1984, of cancer. It attacked him quickly, turning him from a vigorous 70 year-old to a pale shadow of himself in less than two years, and perhaps in the end that was merciful. He spent the last few months of his life in pain, but never allowed that pain to affect his demeanor, never letting himself become bitter or discouraged. When the doctor’s told him that he could be treated for a time, but was ultimately terminal regardless, he decided to save the family from financial ruin by accepting his mortality, and deciding to die with dignity, and honor intact.
My father taught me well how to be a man; both by his life and his death he showed me the way to walk through life with honor. The example he set for me sustains me even today; when making a tough decision, I still imagine him looking over my shoulder & telling me to make the decision that allows everyone involved to keep their self-respect and meet their own needs, by telling the truth tempered with compassion, and having the couraqe to take the responsibility for my actions.
In today’s world, surviving with one’s sanity intact is a perpetual challenge. Human society has, for some time now, begun to suffer the effects of overpopulation. Everyone alive today knows what happens when overcrowded living conditions reach a critical point; we all performed, or at least read or heard about, the experiment with a rodent population allowed to reach that point. Increasing violence and abberrant behavior, breakdown of societal norms, food, water, & shelter become items of primary import. Ultimately, the colony dies, and being human does not shelter us as a species from the simple, deadly fact of this aspect of living in an increasingly unbalanced ecosphere.
One of the symptoms of impending disaster, the “breakdown of societal norms”, is the unfortunate evolution of the norm for a “family” in today’s world. The two-parent household is no longer the majority in today’s society; one parent households are just a common. And this simple fact means that, of the children growing up today, less than half will have an effective male, or female, role model in the home. Many children will not have either a mother or father figure available, or will have that role filled by grandparents or extended family, or by people outside the home such as teachers.
This phenomenon is not necessarily all bad; in my experience, even folks who aren’t terribly good at parenting are at least doing their best. But it does mean that society in the future will be different, very different, and can only contribute to the general overall confusion in society. Humanity has a very challenging era rushing upon it, and significant changes will need to be made, and survived.
My father, whom I honor every day, was part of what may be the last generation ever to have the majority of families with a traditional make-up. I hope the model that society evolves in coming years will create in children the same feelings of self-worth, confidence, and compassion for others that my father, and mother, were able to teach to me. If it is, then I believe there is hope for humanity. If not, then the time of critical danger is apporoaching all too fast……