Session 10-A Partnership Called "Family"

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Because our egos have grown so much, we don't feel that we can connect with others, make efforts for them, tend to them, so they will tend to us. We don't feel that we can connect to another person so closely, unless we have some common interest, like when me and my husband are like friends, partners. In that state, our lives are more of a partnership, not like a family the way it used to be. We work, we share expenses, and it's as if we're merely partners.


It's not as it was in the past, when the man was the head of the family, providing for the family, and the woman was at home raising the children. Today, both leave the house in the morning, drop the kids off at school or kindergarten where they are educated, and in the evening pick them up, and go home. And what do they have at home? They watch TV, or are busy at the computer, or with house duties. The husband and wife are no longer in hierarchy, but are more equal. There is no "head of the family" anymore.


It turns out that we've come to a state where the family has lost its formal structure and became a partnership. And in partnerships, we always examine if it's worthwhile to keep the partnership going, and accordingly, determine whether we keep it or break it up. This is why there are so many divorces, and even people who do not even wish to enter such a partnership. It is a fact, and we will see why this is happening. The ego, which has grown, is leading us to the conclusion that it is not in our interest to start such a partnership called "family."


Even in regards to our children, because of our ego, we don't feel that close to them anymore. We don't feel that they are like us, but that they have their own lives. Their education is very different from the one we received. The generation gap, especially when growing into teenagers, is such that they are completely detached from us, almost as a completely different species. They have a different attitude, they have different interests, and I can hardly understand what they are, how they speak, what they do, and what they like. The connection between the generations has been shattered.


We often find ourselves unable to understand, "How are these teenagers connected to us?" We derive no pleasure out of them. They, too, need us mostly only for money. So we enjoy them when they're little, but from about 13 years on, we start losing connection with them.


So although we don't consciously make these calculations, they do exist subconsciously and lead us to conclude that we'd be better off not having children, or at least not that many.


It is all a result of the evolving ego. Demographically, we've grown very quickly, exponentially, but now the line has grown flatter. In fact, experts in demography are saying that soon the number of children will begin to decline globally.


Today there are still a few countries in the "Third World," that have hereditary and religious motivations for having many children. But in the more developed countries, instead of having 10 children per family, there are only 1-3 children nowadays.

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Topic

Our growing egoism is alienating us from each other, even within the family unit.

Main Points

  • The family unit is losing its structure and becoming more like a mere partnership.
  • The gap between the generations is bigger than ever before, making it difficult for parents to understand their children.

References

Although highly advanced technologically a price has been paid in terms of our increasing fragmentation and detachment from family and community and an appetite for 24-hour living and working.

"Reflections on Depression and Modern Life"

"Imagine a country where everyone acts like a reality show contestant — obsessed with power, status and appearance, and is comfortable manipulating others for their personal gain. "I'm here to win, not make friends," would be the national motto"

"Reflecting on Narcissism"

"Because inequality harms the quality of social relations (increasing violence, reducing trust, cohesion and involvement in community life), people become more self-interested, less public spirited, less concerned with the common good"

"How economic inequality harms societies" - video

"Alongside the lack of confidence in social and political institutions, they also distinguish a lack of confidence in one's fellow citizens which is closely related to the idea that in society, it is "everyone for himself' "

"Anxiety and Uncertainty in Modern Society"

Engage Yourself

Question 3: What trends can you identify in connection with the destruction of the family unit?

Question 2: What is the main reason for connection between people in our time, when the development of the ego has peaked?

Question 1: Read the first paragraph of the session and write down in which of your social circles you can identify similar situations to the ones described in this paragraph. You may choose more than one answer.