Hi, I want to share a part of my life’s story in the blogosphere. It’ll be a longer read than usual. I grew up seeing my parents suffer together. When I was a young kid on the west coast, my father raised the family (my Mom, brother and me) by working two or three part-time jobs. Life was tough in my younger years but I didn’t know the difference.
Later on we moved to the plains. We worked hard together. I grew up seeing my parents live a family-first model of marriage. In this model, marriage is not so much about romance but it’s also about the kids, money, raising a family together.
When I grew up, became a young adult, went off to college. I was taught to believe that the soul mate model of marriage was the only true way to live. Life was about seeking happiness, and marriage was supposed to bring happiness. From a secular view, marriage was actually seen as optional. Marriage and children were a hindrance. These things can get in the way of achieving happiness and a comfortable lifestyle. This is today’s current view of marriage. This will, however, change.
After college, I moved to the big city. I believed that life was all about achieving success in one’s career. It was about finding the love of your life; one could then live happily ever after. I bought into society’s ideals hook-line-and-sinker. Love and success were supposed to make a person happy. If one doesn’t find success and happiness, you would then be settling for second place; and second place was a loser’s place.
In a recent essay in the Wall Street Journal, author W. Bradford Wilcox said this about the soul mate model of marriage:
“For those who are already married, the stresses and strains of marriage and family life in the time of Covid-19 will send thousands of couples to divorce court. Marital failure will be especially common for husbands and wives under the sway of what I call the “soul mate model” of marriage. The soul mate model—trumpeted in books like Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat, Pray, Love,” not to mention countless songs and rom-coms—is the idea that marriage is primarily about an intense emotional and romantic connection between two people and should last only so long as that connection remains happy and fulfilling for both parties. This self-centered model gained in popularity for many Americans starting in the 1970s, the ‘Me Decade.’”
Later in my young adulthood life I realized this model to life and marriage was wrong-headed. I could see it taking me no where. I then realized that this was actually a mass deception created and perpetuated by the mainstream media and by Hollywood. A Me-First mentality. I looked back and began to consider history and traditions, and why life seemed better in the golden olden days. Call it nostalgia if you wish.
I looked at myself and didn’t like what I had become. Self-centered. Selfish. Prideful. I knew that there had to be more to life than just seeking happiness for myself. I confessed and repented of my ways. I made a switch, slowly but surely.
Wilcox said of the family-first model of marriage: “… in times of trial and tribulation, most people—and most spouses—don’t become more self-centered, they become more other-centered, more cognizant of how much they need their family members to navigate difficult and dark times.” He believes that in a post-Covid-19 society, the family-first model of marriage will gain ground against the soul mate model. I agree with this.
Since the great depression of the 1930s, we haven’t had such a big downturn in job losses. During this Covid-19, experts and economists are saying that we will definitely have a recession, or even, a depression. I have never seen communities as a whole pull together. Perhaps 9/11 in New York City was one instance but on a national and worldwide scale, I don’t think this generation has ever seen anything within our lifetime as during this pandemic. There may very well be or a soon-to-be economic collapse, but of course, I’m hoping there won’t be one. It’s safe to say that everyone is coming to realize the dangers and calamity the virus will inevitably cause.
I believe that in the end, people will pull together as communities, for the good of the community. Families will also pull together and stick together. Why? In togetherness, one becomes stronger than when one is alone. Friendships will be bound together based on teamwork, team spirit and camaraderie.
An opposing direction that a post-Covid-19 society might go is the prepper-survival mentality. Every man (and woman) for himself. Screw the rest. Prepare your home as a fortress to hide out. Fill it with food, bullets, and survival items in order to stave off collapse for months or even years. And bear fire arms. Have your ammo ready. Lock and load to protect your fortress. If the situation ever gets so bad, it could come to this low level post-Armageddon mentality. Perhaps I’m too optimistic but I don’t think it will come to this level.
In togetherness, one becomes stronger than when one is alone. Friendships will be bound together based on teamwork, team spirit and camaraderie.
Families will come together because as human beings, we know there is something more to life than just living life in order to seek happiness. There is also happiness in seeking to live life together. This latter approach to life is bigger than life itself. It puts the pressure off of yourself, the individual. The pressure to succeed now lays in the bigger group, the community, and the family.
“There is also happiness in seeking to live life together. This latter approach to life is bigger than life itself.”
My parents taught me something about sticking it out for the long haul. Suffering for a short time will pay off in the longer term. After I took on this new view of life, things began to change. God blessed me with a life partner (rather than a soul mate). We began a family together. We now have a daughter in middle school. Life hasn’t always been easy but life has been good together. So far, so good.
This has been a part of my life experience and I wish to share this with the community I’m a part of in the blogosphere. I hope it encourages a few people out there who might read this.