Walls. Some see walls as bad, others see walls as good. In fact, walls can be both. Walls do separate, which is not always good. But they also protect – goods, livestock, people, and more. Let me discuss a symbolic wall, a wall that is for good and compare it to a real wall made of stone.
Our society is constantly being threatened internally. But in the last five decades or so, our defenses against those threats are breaking down. Drugs pour into our society, the weaker or mislead fall prey to it. Crime fills the streets in certain areas, these same areas are full of broken families. Depression, lack of incentive, and bleak futures impact one generation after the other. And each generation can spawn multiple broken families. The primary defense against these threats, in my mind, is our symbolic wall made of children and families.
My symbolic wall is much like a stone wall. The stones are children, the mortar that keeps the stones in tact are families. What the walls protect is our society. Of course, our wall has a gate to be opened to all that is good outside of our society. What seems to be happening at an increasing rate is the crumbling of our societal stone wall. It’s not usually the stones that cause the walls to crumble, it’s the mortar (family) that fails to keep the stones in place. When those stones fall, there is a breach and threats move in. The loose stones (children) can roll away, build momentum and cause more issues crashing into other parts of the wall.
My question is where are the stone masons? Where are those that build strong walls and maintain them? We need mentors to help those that need guidance. We need government leaders who incentivize families to stay together and not to live apart. We need schools, churches, charities to continue to identify and help kids and families at risk. Most of all, we need every individual that brings a life into this world to take responsibility for that life - to love, correct, and guide.
Many of us go into to parenting blindly and still fail to seek help. This is particularly true of men. Men can be comfortable as fathers and still make mistakes, but don’t we all? Other men are not comfortable and fail to parent because of their insecurities or because they don’t know how important they are to their children. With a third of all children living in a home without a father, the mortar to hold these children safely in place is missing. Many become rolling stones causing damage to society and other sections of the wall.
Our society has drug programs. We fight crime. We go to therapy. We help pregnant teens and single moms. We argue about guns, etc. These areas all need attention, but the cause of these issues never gets enough attention. What we don’t do well enough is prevent drug use, prevent crime, avoid mental illness and neurosis, prevent teen girls from becoming pregnant, and avoid young boys from wanting or needing a gun. Prevention is the answer to all of these issues but we concentrate on fighting what already exists, what was not prevented in the past.
We need to maintain the stone wall of society so we don’t have to fight the demons allowed in by a failed wall. Moms, dads, let us do our part to end the cycle of social issues that come about because of the failure of families.
One last thought. While even the best of families can have children that go astray for one reason or another. Is there any doubt that the following social issues would be minimized significantly if 90% of families were together and practicing responsible parenting?
- Teen pregnancy
- Drug use
- Mental illness
- Child abuse
- High School dropouts
- Unhealthy sexual activity
- Behavioral disorders
- Prison overcrowding
- Physical and mental abuse
- Lack of manners, kindness, and self-esteem
- Neglect of children
- And very importantly, an ever-growing cycle of dysfunctional families.
Michael Byron Smith