Is there Really Crisis in our Modern Family? Vol. 3, No. 14

Lending credence to the doctrine / philosophy of Heraclitus, I wish to assert that change is an incontestable aspect of reality. As time changes, values, life style culture and the society change. By implication, the family cannot be an exception. These are changes resulting from the influence of science and technology, information explosion, schools, urbanization and so on. Meanwhile, these influences could be considered as welcome developments to the societies as well as families. However, the many implications emerging from the manner at which we dance to the music from the drum of this development have caused more harm than good so much so that we could prefer our traditional value system to the modern trends.
Modern families are experiencing crisis and shift of values. This has become the concern of tecsthought because the family is a basic unit and a perennial structure of the society. It is the font of human life, a micro-community in which the human person can develop in becoming a good personality, for integration into the wider society. Unfortunately, in our contemporary society, this basic institution that should nurture, shape and situate the human person is at cross roads. This is predicated on the fact that the family seems to be the worst hit by the above mentioned developments. We are now living in an age where children have been disorganized with the conflicting of values received from their parents and from their peers, from home videos and from social media. Worse still, parents have become visitors at their own home because they are too busy at their working places, thereby leaving the children at the mercy of baby sitters. Funnily enough, the chant for women empowerment has gradually developed into a severe dialogue over who bears the responsibility of breast feeding the baby; the high class working wife or the less paid working husband? Isorite!
Indications therefore emerge that modernity has not only tended and denied most of the basic principles of the family, but has almost swept all our objectives and cherished family values, beliefs and traditions away. And what could be the resultant effects:- the increasing rate of break down of homes and families, rapid uncensored changes in children’s and parents’ right and roles, the legalization of same sex marriages in some nations, separation of couples, domestic violence, single parenthood, child bearing has become a secondary issue in marriage and can only be part of it on contract, and biotechnological complications, where children have been turned into acquisitions such that through genetic engineering, they can be manufactured in the laboratory according to the designs and desires of the couples. Just because we now have opportunity to choose where our ancestors had no options, we decided to relegate some of our enviable values. The sickly and the old fear their own relatives and pray that they do not terminate their lives with the so called “mercy killing”. Suicide caused by unexpressed depression is rife because individuals no longer have the time for the others, to share feeling and troubles. Family members do not see themselves as a unity any longer but a conglomeration of independent individuals. These are the effects of secularization, relativism, hedonism and threats to life.
How can the families in such a pitiable situation, caused by modernism, still remain and maintain its primordial responsibilities of transmitting to its members moral values, spiritual heritage and cultural legacy? Should we pray to God alone in an era in which the belief in God has become an ancient morality? We are dangerously making an optimistic inroads into an age in which science has become a new religion, technology its doctrine and scientist the ministers. It is a pity that modern man is taking a hopeless refuge in the God of modernity. Perhaps, we have to totally retrogress to our traditional African values? Our next series shall tell!

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