Am I the only person that constantly tries to figure out what’s wrong with our nation?
Do you ever wonder why everyone’s so angry? Like, to the point they’ll try to run you off the road because you’re only driving 20 mph OVER the speed limit?
Does it seem odd to you that everyone MUST go out of their way to tell you how much they disagree with you? And after telling you how wrong you are, they have to tell you right they are?
Our nation is suffering from a hate pandemic. It’s very clear to see.
We’re unhappier today than we’ve ever been, but why?
What exactly is causing this “fabricated hate” that we now find ourselves in the middle of?
I think I have a pretty good idea why.
But before I state my case for this I want to be very clear – there is no “one” thing that is directly responsible for the current state of dysfunction we’re living in.
When trying to find answers to problems, I search for common threads. I want to see what’s consistent. What jumps out as being an “outlier?” What was present in scenario A, but lacking in scenario B?
Keeping this in mind, I believe the breakdown of the family structure is at the core of our problems.
The concept of the “nuclear family” has been totally removed from our society.
And not only has it been removed, I feel as though it’s almost frowned upon.
Turn on the TV today and you’ll find shows that have to beep out every other word because everyone is always yelling at each other. You’ll find shows that “glorify” teenage CHILDREN having CHILDREN. And you’ll find shows that recommend you sleep with as many people as possible while searching for someone that you’ll marry after knowing them for a couple of months.
And as sad as it is, it’s actually very representative of our society where it currently stands.
When I first started my research to try and find answers as to the problem with families, I thought for sure I would find some kind of link to divorce rates.
I figured this would make the most sense. Divorce rates are high, which leads to families being broken up.
I ended up finding the exact opposite.
Our divorce rates as of 2019 were the lowest they’ve been since 1960.
That punched holes in my first theory pretty quickly.
But then I found another statistic that helped me formulate my hypothesis – marriage rates are the lowest they’ve been for the last 60+ years.
People aren’t getting married anymore.
I mean, they’re still getting married, just at a fraction of the pace they were in the 1960’s.
It seems as though it’s just not “cool” anymore to follow the normal path to building a family like we did in decades past.
Meet someone, fall in love, get married THEN have children.
If you look back in time 40-50 years, you’ll find TV programming schedules that were busting at the seams with shows that revolved around families.
It was a catalog full of shows that represented what the normal household looked like during that time.
The Flinstones, The Jetsons, The Partridge Family, Good Times, Family Ties, The Brady Bunch, Happy Days, Full House, Leave it to Beaver, Different Strokes, The Cosby Show, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.
And for as crazy as it was at the time, even Married with Children revolved around the family.
It was show after show that all had one common theme – family.
How many shows can you name right now that are focused on the family unit?
How many emphasize the importance of how blood is thicker than water? How family is always there for you no matter what? How man and woman get married and then have children? How they work through their differences and don’t quit when the times get tough? How mistakes are made, but everyone learns from them? How parents rely on other parents to be their eyes and ears when their children are out in public?
Saying things like this in 2021 will get you labeled as a “boomer.”
Today, just 64% of children live in households with two parents that are married. This is the lowest since 1960, when that number was 88%.
While correlation doesn’t always equal causation, I believe there’s a pretty good argument to be made for the link between the issues we’re currently facing and the breakdown of the nuclear family.
Kids that grow up in happy, two parent households benefit in many ways:
- They’re more likely to attend college.
- They’re physically and emotionally healthier.
- They’re less likely to be physically or sexually abused.
- They’re less likely to use drugs or alcohol and to commit delinquent behaviors.
- They have a decreased risk of divorcing when they get married.
- They’re less likely to become pregnant/impregnate someone as a teenager.
- They’re less likely to be raised in poverty.
(“Why Marriage Matters: 26 Conclusions from the Social Sciences,” Bradford Wilcox, Institute for American Values)
As a matter of fact, there was a study done by the Brooking’s Institute that found 98% of people who did just three simple things lived outside of the poverty level:
1) Graduate high school.
2) Get a full time job.
3) Wait until you’re married to have kids.
And to take it a step further, 75% of these people ascended into the ranks of the “middle class.”
If you want to fix the hate issue, fix the home issue.