Why Families Are More Important Than Ever
Family values are less popular than they used to be, with fractured families all over the country and dropping birth rates. There is no longer a dominant family form in the United States, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing by itself -- but this is indicative of a culture where families are becoming less important and less valued.
Despite this, to thrive in today's society, families and family values are more important than ever -- and there are many reasons why.
Financial and Resource Support
We live in economically uncertain and challenging times. Thanks in part to decades of reckless government spending and poorly conceived actions on the part of central banks, inflation is at an all-time high, asset values are completely irrational, and most people living in the country wouldn't be able to handle even a relatively minor emergency expense.
What does this mean for the average person? The short answer is financial instability. Even if you have a good job, you may not be able to afford a home of your own, you may struggle to buy groceries, and you may not be able to cover most of your emergency expenses.
There's not much we can do to immediately alleviate the economic conditions in this country, but with stronger families, those economic conditions become less negatively impactful. As a parent, you can allow your child to live at home past the age of adulthood. As a child, you can help your parents make ends meet if necessary. Together, you can reduce your collective expenses and support each other in ways that render other services unnecessary.
Medical and Home Care Support
In line with this, families serve as an excellent form of medical and home care support when necessary. Regardless of whether you're a Social Democrat, a Libertarian, a Neoconservative, or a reasonable centrist, we can unanimously agree that our current medical system is less than ideal. A combination of excessive government regulations and a private, profit-driven crony capitalist medical system has pushed prices higher and made health care less accessible.
Thankfully, it's easier to provide home care as an individual, outside of the current medical system -- and it should come intuitively to you to support your family when they need you the most. Instead of tapping into insufficient health insurance policies or risking bankruptcy to get the care you need, you can lean on some of your family members to provide at least some of your essential care.
Obviously, if you don't have medical training or certifications, there are some medical services you won't be able to provide. But even without any medical training, you can provide companionship and optimizations designed to increase independence.
In today’s society, everyone is a propagandist. Your favorite politicians, journalists, teachers, and even celebrities are uninterested in truth and instead are interested in pushing a specific agenda (whatever that agenda happens to be). Every news organization out there has a specific slant they consistently maintained, pushing out independent minded journalists in favor of people willing to submit to whatever narrative is currently popular amongst readers. State funded schools, unsurprisingly, favor statist policies.
Regardless of whether your children are in public schools, private schools, or in home schooling, you have the power to dispel some of this propaganda. You can spend time teaching your kids about your values and philosophies and why they're important to you. You can help point out some of the flaws and shortcomings in the lessons they've learned elsewhere. But most importantly, you can spend time teaching them the power of critical thinking, so they can reliably assess the accuracy and veracity of the information they encounter in the future.
People with strong family bonds tend to demonstrate better mental health outcomes, which is indispensable in our era of mental distress. Millions of people, perhaps more than ever before, are actively suffering from disorders related to anxiety, depression, and excessive stress. Without proper support, these issues can become worse and jeopardize a person's individual well-being and future contributions to society.
If you spend more time bonding with your family members and building strong relationships with them, you'll be far less susceptible to these negative mental health outcomes. When spending time with other family members, you can relax and destress. When engaging with other family members, you can build confidence and self-esteem. And of course, your family members will be there for you in your darkest moments.
Preservation of Family Values
It's also important to note that the only way to preserve family values, from a broad cultural standpoint, is to live and embody those values in your own life. If you teach your kids that family is important, they're much more likely to grow up with those values, carrying them forward to the next generation. If you're worried about the degradation of family values, or the future of this country from an economic, cultural, or philosophic standpoint, it's an act of solidarity and selflessness to build a strong family of your own.
None of this is meant to suggest that having a family is the only way to be happy, or that family values are the most important aspect of American culture. Instead, it's merely meant to describe where families fit with our country and its current state and encourage more people to participate in families of their own.
Image: Eric Ward