Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Yesterday I asked the question: "What are you prepared to do?" Today I will begin with another one: "What are you supposed to do?" Anyone who read yesterday's post and came away with the impression that there is no use in caring about the injustice in the world when there is nothing that an individual can do about it simply missed the point. There is plenty that you can do about it. You can get active politically in support of folks who are willing to invest American 'blood, sweat, and treasure' in the causes that you feel are important. This means that you can both vote for these candidates when they become available in elections in which you can participate, and you can write and phone your current elected officials no matter what their track record, letting them know how you feel and what you want them to specifically accomplish. Heck, if you have the opportunity at all, run for office and become the 'mover and shaker' yourself. We should always be willing to look both at our own neighborhood and town, but also outside at the region, nation, hemisphere, and world around us for injustice of all types. We should then be willing to get involved in helping to correct those injustices, both as individuals and as a nation. But while we should place that political pressure on candidates and nations, we need to absolutely ensure that there is one place where we are actually taking action every day: in our homes with our families. Outside of our relationship with God, there is nothing more important in this life than family. Acting familially means any number of things. First of all, it means actually being there and being involved, and that goes particularly for men. Anyone who got married and began to have children as a mature, thinking, responsible adult had reasons for doing so. You need to understand and embrace that commitment fully at all times, and ensure that nothing in this world comes before your family relationships and responsibilities. Not work, not school, not hobbies, and certainly not any interest in global injustices. By being a strong, loving, supportive husband to your wife and father to your children you are doing the one thing every single day that you can best do to make a real positive difference in the world. That isn't to take any of the same responsibilities away from women. It is just to frankly recognize the fact that the vast majority of familial problems can be traced to men, and that a change in our attitudes and actions as a whole would make a measurable difference at home. If enough men around the world took their familial responsibilities more seriously, the world would be a better place. Women need to do their part as well, and the traditional role of nurturing mother should be at the forefront of their lives. There is nothing more important in this world than properly raising children, and no one, including natural fathers, will ever be as important in this regard as a mom. Another consideration needs to be extended to those who say that they don't want children, or only want one child. I can think of no more selfish position for someone to take in life than a militant anti-parenting position, or even a restrictive one such as the one-child position. It is a well known fact that for any society to propagate and sustain itself, families need to produce approximately two and a half kids per family. I would highly recommend to any young American a dual goal of marriage, and planning to have at least three kids within the context of that marriage, be that by physical birth, adoption, what have you. And when you have those kids, you need to raise them to understand and appreciate traditional American values and history, and need to raise them with a love, understanding, and knowledge of God and His love for them. Now don't get me wrong, this is not me telling you what to do, no matter how it sounds. Because the fact of the matter is that I didn't follow all of this advice in my own life. Then again, it took me a long time to grow into my current level of education and experience, and to form my adult opinions. What I am pointing out, however, are what I believe to be the best things that you can actually do to make a real positive difference in our nation and our world. Pray on injustices and direct the powers-that-be toward their attention, but to really make a difference you will need to concentrate on your own marriage, children, commitment, presence, love, and faith. You can indeed make a difference by thinking globally, but acting familially.