Just something I’ve been thinking about…
Perhaps we’re doing it all wrong. Maybe the idea that one man and one woman get hitched, set-up their own distinct home, and raise their children (basically alone) is the cause of many of our current societal problems.
Taking care of children is difficult. Even in a committed partnership, mom and dad can easily become overwhelmed by young children. When one (or both) of them must leave the home to make money for survival, the situation is only exacerbated.
Would it not be a finer idea to live in larger groups, thereby alleviating the burden on parents of young children? How nice to have a trusted grandmother, a devoted sister, a trustworthy brother-in-law, or a best friend to help with child care. For them to say, “You two go have some fun together. Watch a movie. Take a bath. Reconnect. Make love. Whatever. Your son is in good hands for the next few hours.”
Running a home is a complicated endeavor. Bills need paid; meals need cooked; floors need swept; repairs need made. It’s a lot for one person; it’s a lot for two people, even if they’re on the same page. A larger group of like-minded individuals could much easier care for everything that needed done.
Homeschooling is but a dream for many people. With both parents often working away from home, schools have become a de facto babysitting service. If we could live in larger groups, the need for government schools would be significantly abated. Someone would always “be home” to care for and facilitate the children’s learning.
Many of the functions of the state would thereby become obsolete. Better care could be provided to the elderly. Much of the support for compulsory schooling would be eroded. People could look to each other to solve problems, instead of the state.
So, why don’t we do this? Why does everyone leave the nest as a young adult, never to return? Sadly, it’s because many people have incredibly poor relationships with their parents. Who wants to live with the same people who hit them, berated them, screamed at them, and belittled them? Most people, when they legally become adults, cannot wait to get as far away from their parents as possible.
It’s so accepted in our culture that we must leave our parents and make our own way. Changing that notion would be a monumental task. But maybe, if we, as parents, foster the type of relationship that encourages our offsprling to stay near, to not run off, to not seek to distance themselves from their childhood tormentors, maybe we could do this. What type of relationship are we building, right now, with our kids? Will they want to stay near us when they’re adults? Or are we driving them away?
Maybe by freeing our children, by raising them in peaceful, non-coercive homes, they might wish to form these types of associations. Maybe, instead of seeing their parents as intolerable tyrants, they might instead view them as allies and friends. Then, just perhaps, we could form these types of voluntary communities and better take care of one another.
Anyway, just a thought…