By Emily Reeves/ Staff Columnist
Families – we’re born into them only to one day leave. However, this come-and-go system is almost purely unique to western civilization.
In fact there’s another system of family that depends on individuals born to that family never leaving, even once married. I believe we should reflect the second system more than the first because it provides a sense of belonging to counteract many of the mental insecurities we suffer from today.
What we consider a “nuclear” or “postmodern” family, typically consists of those who provide and their dependents. These small family models are tied to the wage system as opposed to the misconception of ties to industrialization.
The more traditional “extended family” model consists of many units under one man or woman who all work together to provide for the family. This system reduces the stress placed on parents to both provide for and look after their children and provides a sense of community and belonging. I think we should move back to the extended family idea.
Few individuals in the wage system make enough money to support more than a spouse and a handful of offspring. This makes it easy for family ties to weaken once the children leave because they begin to provide for themselves with no help.
At first it seems more logical to take care of your own in our brutal capitalist economy where only those with the best skills at the lowest cost survive in times of trouble.
However, giving of ourselves to our family, or people in general, is scientifically proven to give us a sense of fulfillment that nothing we do for ourselves ever does. Not to mention that in French Canada, an industrialized area, they’ve managed to maintain close family ties once children grow up and begin independent work.
Even though it may seem illogical from an economic position, taking care of your parents and siblings after moving. This is one of the most fulfilling things we can do. If we’re willing to give up some of our more expensive comforts, we can find mental fulfillment and a sense of belonging we otherwise would have lost.