Thursday, May 20, 2010
The shift from the duty of children to parents to the duty of parents to children was not subtle. All of a sudden, the young became the instructors of the old, on everything from the morality of war and peace to the issues of sex and the meaning of life.I blame success. We adults achieve security relatively easily now - we do not need our children's labor to provide for the family - we live in abundance. And yet, inherently, we know we are unworthy of this level of abundance so we turn our attention to something by which we can earn it - for many that is their duty to the children. (For others it is in "the environment" and others "social justice" just to extend the idea a bit)
As West observes, "It is hard to overstate the significance of this change more than half a century ago. It is this fundamental rearrangement of life’s building blocks that put successive decades on an entirely new footing from all that had come before. To say the tide had turned is to imply a temporary, cyclical shift. What had occurred — replacing the child’s duty to his parent with the parent’s duty to his child — has so far turned out to be permanent."
The problem with this is twofold. Firstly, our duty is to God - and a child's duty to parent models that far better than the opposite. Which is probably why Christianity is a much harder sell to young people today.
Which brings me to my second point - we are born narcissists. "Feed me" - "Bath me" - "Care for me" is how we are born. That cycle needs to be broken or we forever remain narcissists. Not sure that is what God has in mind for us.