Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Different World ...

It recently struck me how much things have changed in US culture in the past five decades (most of my life span thus far). When I was growing up (insert dinosaur joke here), I cannot remember even one school mate whose parents were divorced. Not one was the child of a never-married woman. None, and none. And in all the school years when it might have happened, I can remember just one girl who got pregnant.
If recent common "stats" are to be believed, on the order of half the kids in an average public school classroom today have gone through their parents getting divorced. More than 3 in 8 were born to unmarried mothers (3 out of 4 in some areas!). And on the order of 1 in 3 girls will become mothers during their teen years - not necessarily all unmarried or during their school years. Even more will have one or more abortions, killing their child (not necessarily knowing that is what they are doing).
This is a very different culture than that in which I was raised! These aren't numbers in columns. These are children wounded by divorce. These are children who have half of what used to be normal parental input - wisdom, love and care. These are children raised without knowing what a secure relationship or a stable marriage looks and feels like. These are children who will be having children, raising children, while themselves needing to grow up. All these traumas were the second-hand experiences of my (now grown) children. Further, these are the experiences and expectations that have molded the current and coming generations of parents, what they have and will communicate to their children. Their experiences are so different from mine that I almost feel like I'm a different sub-species of human.

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