The Problem of Parents

Because of the way they manipulate the mass mind, the media and entertainment industry are two very important factors in mental conditioning after the home and school.  Considering the extent to which they infiltrate and influence the family circle and encroach on educational preserves, they are, undeniably, subversive elements in the realm of marital relationships and domesticity.  Overtly and superficially this may not be readily apparent, but anyone with even an elementary understanding of the nature of mental conditioning will readily discern the truth of this statement.

Nevertheless, it is the parents who are the greatest conditioning factor in an individual’s life, notwithstanding that they, themselves, may be the victims of conditioning, and it would not be far wrong to state that it is they who have made him or her what they are.  It would not be too far off the mark, either, to say that whether a person has good or bad relationships with others was largely determined during the earliest days of life; therefore we cannot consider the problem of relationships without dealing with the part played by parents.  Which brings us back to the cornerstone of society, the family circle.

To date no adequate substitute has been found for the traditional family and only recently have researchers come to the conclusion that the role of a father is extremely important, if not essential, in the wellbeing of the children.  The conclusions reached by researchers in a number of countries are important to us, here, because they indicate that where children are deprived of one parent, or where there is a less than satisfactory relationship between the parents, the children themselves will find it very difficult to establish proper relationships in their own lives.

It is now well known that, important though it may be to have a loving parent-child relationship, it is even more important to the child that a good and loving relationship be established between his or her parents.  If the relationship of the parents is good and stable, the chances are that the offspring will have satisfactory relationships with their spouse.  The opposite will apply if the parental relationship is defective.  So all responsible and caring parents should ensure that they are able to provide the right domestic atmosphere in which to raise their children.  Where there has been a mature selection of a marriage mate, this can be accomplished; unfortunately, nowadays there is a tendency to choose less responsibly because of a prevailing attitude which subconsciously abhors permanence.  As stated previously, we live in a plastic, throwaway society and the stage has been reached where even marriage mates are regarded as disposable.  This attitude of irresponsibility would not matter so much were it not for the prejudicial effect it has upon the children whose rights and well-being are all too often ignored.

The question is sometimes asked, “What is best for the children when a marriage breaks down and the parents are unable to display their love for each other because it no longer exists?  Which does the most harm, to remain together in such a situation, for the sake of the children, or to separate?”  Of course, this is a no win situation as far as the children are concerned and one which should not have arisen in the first place, therefore it is a matter of choice in the acceptance of the lesser of two evils.  It depends on a number of variables and there is no cut and dried answer, it is entirely a matter of assessing individual situations.  In some cases the lesser of the two evils, as far as the children are concerned, is for the parents to come to some kind of genuine compromise in a working relationship and make the best of things in the interest of the children.  In other cases, generally where no such arrangement can be settled, it is best for the parents to part.

The one thing parents must not do is to try and put on a false front for the sake of the children. Children are very sensitive to atmosphere and would immediately sense the insincerity.  The feelings parents display for each other must be genuine to be of any value, to pretend does far more harm than good.  The blame in such instances lies directly at the door of the parents who have irresponsibly brought children into being within the framework of a defective family circle.

Only recently has the full significance of the family circle as it relates to the development of personality and the future relationships of those who have been brought up within it, been recognized.  In fact it may well be described as the spawning ground of nearly all adult relationship problems, although another significant factor has also emerged and that is the extent to which pre-natal domestic conditions influence the personality of the adult-to-be.  It should be noted that the words ‘personality’ and ‘frequencies’ are almost interchangeable in the context of much of this booklet.

Some authorities are beginning to accept a tenet which was part of the ancient wisdom:  that the personality and compatibility capacity of an individual is largely dependent upon the kind of relationship his or her parents had with each other and with others, prior to their marriage.  As we have seen there is increasing evidence to support this concept.  Readers with relationship problems, who are capable of analyzing things objectively and have sufficient knowledge of their parents, may possibly be able to relate their own personality defects to some inadequacy in their parents’ marital relationships.

We cannot overstress the importance of parental compatibility and harmony within the domestic circle, which can be ensured only by the right choice of a mate.  As stated when discussing paradoxical compatibility, this choice is not as simple as it may seem, so prudence and discernment must be exercised.  To those who may ask, “What are the guidelines to be followed in making a choice of a mate?”  we can only reply that they are the same as they have always been.  The traditional standards are still the best for assessing suitability.  It is when these began to be discarded that the trouble started.  The problem seems to be that while intellectual knowledge is cumulative, moral knowledge is not; therefore while each generation may benefit from the accumulative intellectual knowledge of past generations, unless moral standards are upheld behavioural patterns will deteriorate.  All we seem to learn from the past is to repeat our mistakes in greater volume and with worse consequences.

Violence, broken homes, teenage pregnancies and babies being born blind because of venereal disease, or deformed through drug-taking, are on the increase.  Pornography is rampant and even reaches into school and college grounds.  There is mounting drug abuse and deep personal frustrations everywhere.  Many sincere men and women are trying hard to find the solution to these problems.  They certainly do a certain amount of good in a limited way and for a limited time, but they operate within an overall framework that never changes and unfortunately do a great deal of harm also.  They treat the symptoms of violence, crime and broken homes, but still these escalate because they are failing to get to the cause of the tragic ills.  There is only one basic underlying cause, that is the way human beings live and relate to one another.

Yet there is another side to the coin.  It is an abiding characteristic of humans to believe that the old virtues are disappearing, the old values disintegrating.  Many people today seem to think that our morality, our devotion to virtue and justice, resembles a reservoir that was filled long ago (vaguely about the time of our grandfathers) and has been seeping away ever since.  However, our grandfathers also thought that the reservoir had been filled by their grandfathers and seeped away, and the same with their grandfathers.  So why is the reservoir not empty?

The answer is that the moral order undergoes regeneration as well as decay, a continuous ‘recurrence of birth’, offsetting death.  Men are always drifting away from the old truths and corrupting the old symbols, but while some are losing their faith others are achieving new spiritual insights; while some grow slack and hypocritical, others bring a new meaning and vitality to moral striving.

Young people do not assimilate values by learning such words as truth, justice, consideration, etc., and their definitions.  They learn attitudes, habits and ways of judging, in personal transactions with their family or associates.  They do not learn ethical principles, they emulate ethical (or unethical) people.  That is why young people need models of what man at his best can be.

Each generation, presented with victories that it did not win for itself, must itself rediscover the meaning of liberty, justice, etc., ‘the words on the monuments’.  A generation that has fought for freedom may pass that freedom on to the next generation, but it cannot pass on the knowledge of what it takes to win and hold that freedom.  That which comes easily, which is handed on gratis, cannot be appreciated.

In some cases young people find that the moral concepts their parents offer are no longer relevant, or are contradicted by the parents’ behavior, but this is not without remedy.  The first task of moral renewal is to strip the encrustations of hypocrisy from cherished ideals.  Young people, with their freshness of vision and rebelliousness of mood, are very well fitted to accomplish that task.

One of our most difficult problems is to make it possible for young people to participate in the great works of their time.  Opportunities for constructive outlets are rare.  Alexander might have conquered half the known world in his early twenties, and nineteenth century seafaring lads might have been sailing captains in their late teens, but in a complex technological society the stress is on lengthy training and experience.  All too often, when we seek to evoke the moral strivings of the adolescent today, the best we can do is to invite him to stand sentinel over a drying reservoir.  Instead we should be telling young people the grim but bracing truth that it is their task, facing the dilemmas of their own time, to recreate the cherished values in their own behavior.  We should make them understand that each generation fights again the crucial battles and either brings new vitality to the ideals or allows them to decay.  In short the moral order is not something enshrined in historical documents, or stowed away like the family silver.  It is a living, changing thing and never any better than the generation that holds it in trust.  A society is continuously re-created, for good or ill, by its members.  This will strike some as burdensome, but it will summon others to greatness.

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