Importance of Family

Importance of Family

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I believe that everything a person experiences should be used in future tasks to help make good decisions. Weather a person knows it or not, our minds often remember good, or especially bad, experiences and use them with regards to the rewards or consequences they produced. For example, a funeral is always a bad experience; however throughout the years we learn how to approach them. A recent death in my family, made me realize, that today family values are less important to some people, then they were when generations older then my own were growing up and what inside the household has changed as far as a traditional family is concerned. I also realized that family values are not only a private issue within each person home, but the government has approached the problem as well in debates and so forth. More over, family values are more then often referred to as the "politics of family" rather then family morals or values (Skolnick).
My great Uncle Eddie was very close to me. Everyone has an aunt or an uncle that spoils them, sneaks them treats, or takes them out for a special day. For me, that person was my Uncle Eddie. About a month ago, after several weeks of being gravely ill, he passed away. Although most of my family was expecting it, I had disregarded any possibility that he could actually pass away. For the first time I was really relying on my family, especially my brother, to make me feel better. I am always so positive that my family is going to protect me, therefore I often overlook there guidance. However, this time I was actually looking for it.
This experience made me think, are family values as important to modern day Americans, as were to old school Americans? When my grandparents talk about there childhood they speak mostly of each other, and what they did as a family, everyone seemed so tight-knit. When I think of my childhood, or mostly my teenage years I think about my friends and where I was going out, so how has it changed, or more importantly what are the problems, if the values have changed?
My Losing Season by Pat Conroy is about a boy that grew up with a military father as he tried to become the best basketball player he could be. This of course, is a slight bit different then many other families.

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The young boy, Pat, often gets hit by his father. However his mother refuses to confront her husband. This shows that not every family has the same values. In this case silence is what is holding the family together. The boy was truly scared of his father; however he used him as an influence while playing ball "I took up basketball as a form of homage and mimicry, and like him I grew up court-savvy and predatory and ready to rumble in any game that came my way" (Conroy 47). Even in families with tension and hatred towards one another, we are held together by what we learn from one another.
In past generations, as my grandparents told me, family was way more important to children especially, than it is to children today. Families did way more together. They were each others best friends. My grandmother explained it as weekly traditions. Many families today have a tradition or two that they do every single year, something like going to the see the Christmas tree in Manhattan every year. When my grandmother was young, they would do things together once or twice a week. Small things, church, chores, or even fun family activities. Today parents are busy with work and children make more time for there friends in-between all of the extracurricular activities they do.
The government as well is concerned with the downfall of the traditional family, and family values. While discussing how things can be changed in a community or government, many politicians have expressed there feelings towards this problem using phrases such as "traditional family values," "moral decay," and "breakdown of the family." Parents will begin to notice that they are raising there children differently then they were raised and want to make a change. Furthermore they "speak to the ambivalence and anxieties most people feel about bewildering cascade of changed in family life in recent years and its effects of children" (Skolnick).
There are many terms for how a family lives. The big concern is that people no longer appreciate the "traditional family." The traditional family is what many of our parents grew up with, a man and a women, living under one roof, with children. The father works and the mother stays home with the children. However, over the years marriage hasn't been as sacred, divorce rates are higher, and many households consist of two working parents and a babysitter. In my personal opinion, marriage in America will no longer be as sacred as it was to our grandparents and great grandparents, not in a country that watched shows such as "Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire."
An excerpt from the book, Protecting Family Values; The Power Of Alliance tells us that "The family is the most basic unit of society without healthy functioning families, a society cannot survive." At the end of the day all a person has is family, so yes the way each family functions and what they believe in, and value has changed from when past generations were growing up. But also every family is different from one another. Therefore as long as a family is functioning and doing so healthily I feel that it does not matter if a family is traditional or not, as long as they have something to come home to, every one is comfortable around different things. After realizing that my family is the only thing I really wanted around during my uncles death, I noticed that they will be there through all the hardships. Furthermore I do not have a traditional family, my mother works two jobs and my father stays home, however that is what I'm used to and it seems like a very healthy environment. The government nor any study done can make me wish for anything different.
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