By Domenick J. Maglio PhD. Traditional Realist
Many millenials are not only attracted to socialist ideas but also realize that raising a family takes more personal sacrifice than they are willing to consider. There is little immediate gratification to a long-term relationship. It is much more appealing to young adults to “hook up”, live together with no commitment, have serial marriages or just remain a self serving, perennial adolescent.
When men can get all the “milk without buying the cow” and women can have random, carefree sex without worrying about having a “burden” of an unwanted pregnancy, marriage loses its appeal. This weakening of long-term commitment and a satisfying marriage has been going on for generations. Short-term romantic, emotional feelings are more seductive than rationally solving pragmatic issues for a successful long-term marriage.
In the past family life in a free market economy was attractive to parents and their children. They worked together to build a future through their industriousness and dedication. The energy of the family was employed doing mundane things like maintaining the home, cooking, cleaning, babysitting, shopping and other necessary chores. Furthermore there were home improvement projects that added value to the property such as building additional living spaces, sheds, play areas, beautification and upgrading of the home to improve its capabilities and efficiency.
A spouse and children is a tremendous asset to the long- range emotional and material future of the family. Strong role models trained the children in thinking skills, moral values and competition. The family provided physical security, pragmatic and inspirational knowledge of what works in the real world throughout all the developmental stages of its members. The elders passed on their wisdom to the family and community to guide them through difficult periods in life.
Presently in the urban, progressive culture children are considered to be a sacrifice costing at least $250,000 to raise and have many other potential financial liabilities. Marriage itself is considered an antiquated institution that stifles an ever-changing person’s ability to become self-actualized. According to the intellectuals, a person should molt their old relationships into a new and better one. This message is subliminal in advertising and in your face from Hollywood stars that spout their disdain of the traditional family.
The significance of benefits to the family is not realized in the early years. These years are an investment in the husband and wife’s relationship and in loving and training their children. There is some gradual gratification when the parents witness the growth of their relationship and their children’s development. Most of the time the parents are completing the necessary checklist to stay afloat and strive to better their family economically. The pace of time quicken as the years rush by until the nest begins to empty itself.
When the children turn into young adults, the value of delayed gratification becomes apparent. Once offspring begin to make their mark in their chosen careers, marriage and begin their own families the parents see the fruits of their sacrifice. Finally, if they are fortunate enough to become grandparents, they can feast on the undeniable impact they had on their extended family.
This gratification is a long time coming and that makes it all the sweeter. The parents provided the foundation of another generation for the family to build the next chapter in the family’s history. The extended family weaves itself into the community fabric making it easier for all members to reap opportunities.
At this point, the satisfaction becomes fast and evident. The family holidays are filled with joy and happiness. The grandchildren’s love towards each other and all the other family members brings everyone closer together. The personal pleasures are spiritual and inspirational and worth more than all the money in the world.
The progressive, urban side of this equation is just the opposite. The self- centered adult lifestyle, which was based on immediate gratification, eventually ends and reality appears. There are no immediate family members to visit on special occasions. The person’s outward physical appearance grows old even with all the cosmetic surgeries. The most devastating thing is there is no one to share and continue the family line.
The future is for each of us to define for our own lives. The choice is between “live for today and do not worry about tomorrow” or “plan for tomorrow by making hard sacrificial decisions to better the prospects of the family’s future.” Delaying gratification to maximize one’s personal growth is a clear sign of wisdom.
There is no better institution than the traditional family. It establishes a foundation for the development of a person’s character, productivity, caring for loved ones and commitment to the community.
Domenick Maglio, PhD. is a columnist carried by various newspapers, an author of several books and owner/director of Wider Horizons School, a college prep program. Dr. Maglio is an author of weekly newspaper articles, INVASION WITHIN and a new book entitled, IN CHARGE PARENTING In a PC World. You can see many of Dr. Maglio’s articles at www.drmaglio.blogspot.com.