.Romantic love does not exist. Sexual attraction exists at the beginning of many if not most relationships that end in long term partnerships. As a matter of fact I feel I have insulted the very concept of partnership by equating it with romance.
It’s been a while since divorce rates have passed the 50% mark. Now the bricks that bind our society, the nuclear family, (mom, dad, brother or sister) is at the skinny end of the slope downhill. Just turn on the T.V., All too often the father is portrayed a bumbling fool, the mother looks like a swimsuit model, the children are savvy stand-up comics and their relationship is a series of deceptions, and cute misdirections aimed at getting what they want at fathers expense.With the emasculation of the American patriarchy, with it’s defects, and butt of all humor, the very judgment and thought processes of the culture have been softened to the condition of a warm loaf of bread. The robust nature of males has been assaulted to the point that a safety course on the proper use and misuse of the male penis is not far down the road.
With the popularizion of the “anti-hero” in popular culture, and the “bad boy” values that guided the hand of our men have lost their luster. It is true that there is a pile of work needed to merely civilize the millennia-old concept that patriarchy meant somebody was going to be victimized.
Grant me the serenity to accept, The things I cannot change. Courage to change the things I can. And the wisdom to know the difference.
This old adage, popularized through A.A. has been contemplated endlessly. With the phrase “wisdom to know the difference.” presenting us with the conundrum of the day. It is a matter of deciding what is right and good on a case by case basis. There will never be an “answer” we can finish the matter with just the best we can do from moment to moment. Only 15 year old Gurus have that bit of wisdom nailed down.
At the very base of our culture, or any society, is the smallest bonded group, the family. With family values, traditions and beliefs passed on and the roles , (patriarch, matriarch), clearly modeled from an older member, the strength of the family, neigberhood and local community. A man that can love his wife and children, stand with his heart covered and eyes on the flag can still do wrong. A man , on the other hand,, who commits many violent acts and lives selfishly is capable of acts of generosity upon occasion.
I spent the day yesterday sitting with my 32 year old daughter as she had her chemotherapy treatment. I was humbled by the quiet courage I saw in this young woman. It is amazing how much spiritual strength you absorb just by being near such a strong personality. My wife was also right there, giving as much love as she could. The prognosis on her stage 3 mass is positive. That is good. The mass is about the size of a handball. “Scary.”
Her four sisters, 3 young children, her mother and father as well as her partner will guarantee there is someone to be with her with her 24/7. Such is the strength the family, where no one is forced to comply but wants to please those who love them. The sinew, blood an bone of the patriarch was never meant to offend, to suppress those in their care, but such muscle was meant to stand in harms way and protect those who cannot protect themselves.
Love is strength, it is patient……love is commitment to the whole, even at the expense ones own wellbeing. After the Roman empire collapsed, a thousand years of violence blood, and cruelty defined western culture. The inquisition, the crusades and war after war to aggrandize petty nabobs and their dreams of empire marked an era of ignorance crowned by conquest and plague ignorance threatened to wipe out the whole of western Europe.
But the heart of Christendom survived. The immutable truth, in the words of a humble carpenter served as a light toward which mankind could find its way.
Evil will be with us always. We must not give in. Our vigilance must not be abandoned to fear or fatigue. We must not turn our back on love. The fact is that any system of spiritual belief that gives the male head of the family king-like power… is doomed to abuse that power selfishly. You know…”git me another beer bitch!”