To the Editor:
As we are fast approaching another holiday season my mind drifts back through years gone by. I have many fond family memories surrounding this time of year. Autumn was a special time for me growing up. Many of my memories involved gathering in the last of the garden crops to be preserved for winter, hunting and last minute repairs before cold weather, and all done with family.
For the most part our family was close knit as was most every family we knew. Many, many evenings were spent around the kitchen table listening to the elder generation recall tales of hard times and days gone by. As kids, we learned many valuable life lessons, listening to our elders talk! Much of what I learned sitting around that table has served me well in life.
We all have hard times, in our own way. Many in my life I don’t think I could have gotten through were it not for the lessons taught to me around that table. The most important of all lessons was the importance of family! The need to be together. To stand in unity through difficult times and the precious need to love one another! Everything was about family!
Today I sadly believe we have lost that bond. It seems to me that in today’s world family doesn’t mean a whole lot! At least not what it was back then. Families don’t seem to have the same bonds, respect and commitment that they once had.
Today, in the world in which we live, everyone is too caught up in doing their own thing, living their own lives and living for the moment. Children do not respect their parents or other elders. Many families seldom sit down to a meal together let alone spend the evening talking to each other.
I go to a restaurant for dinner and look around. What do I see? The vast majority of people sit there with a phone in their hands looking at everything except the people they are seated with. Conversation is all but non-existent! Sometimes entire families sit there not saying a word. Even while eating the phone remains in one hand with the fork in the other! Sadly, this is the same in many homes at the dinner table.
Holidays today aren’t what they once were either, I believe. Seldom do we all gather as one big family to celebrate. Where once everyone gathered at home or at grandma’s house for dinner, today we all go our separate ways, doing our own thing. Too busy with our own lives to be bothered by tradition and family bonds.
It is sad to say, but the family unit is almost a thing of the past in America. We have been programed to believe that nothing is more important than self, self-gratification and having what I want!
I sadly believe that the results of this are clearly evident in society today. The fall of the family will be the downfall of our society and their is no one to blame but us. We have allowed this demon to encroach into our lives and take precedent over the one thing that has held us together for so long; family!
It is sad to think that generations of knowledge, history and ancestry are falling by the wayside because we are too involved with self, and allow electronic devises to raise, influence and shape our children. All the while the family falls into a thing of the past! May God forgive us for what we have destroyed in search of self!
BERTRAM HALBRUNER JR.