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So I promised myself I’d stay away from politics here in 2012, which for somebody living just outside The Beltway in an election year is a poor promise at best. Someone recently posted this article link to Facebook. I’m having a hard time not commenting on it even after commenting on it. It’s just too much like bait.

I happen to agree with the writer (whoever you are….) about how college has become a product to be oversold to millions at premium prices. I also happen to agree that high school does not do its job to prepare students to function at a minimal level in society (and just do NOT get me started on the whole change-counting out thing). I have to sort of agree about the whole jobs thing—although really smart people use the $200,000 price tag of college to start businesses instead of simply plugging in to the Machine. I do have to part ways with the author for the very derogatory “living at home with Mommy and Daddy” comment. Mostly, I feel bad for all those kids who did what they were told.

The notion that children finish college and leave home is a manufactured expectation. Yes, we hope our children embark on their own lives and they most often do quite naturally. But in our artificial environment we’ve made it practically a constitutionally protected right for a married “nuclear” couple—the Parents—to have their own space. Not so distantly past, newly married couples lived with parents as a rule even after children were born while they worked and saved for a place or moved into a home that was built on the family land. Older, infirm or merely single relatives lived with family as a matter of course. People didn’t have this overarching “privacy” entitlement because we all never had it UNTIL

Corporations starting making and selling stuff. With smaller and more isolated families, they could sell more stuff as housing functions that had been shared now duplicated themselves over and over again. More couches, washers, dryers, lawn mowers! We didn’t even notice, in our gladness to celebrate our prosperity, that we had been handed an invoice whose only payment due was our family life.

I guess I’m waiting this election for somebody (and I’m sure I’ll be waiting a very, VERY long time) to suggest that the economic “situation” could possibly be the catalyst needed to pull our weary families back together so I’ll suggest it. I have a friend who at the start of the stink-bug invasion in the Mid-Atlantic said something like, “What if they are the cure for cancer and we’re so busy getting rid of them that we don’t notice?” With all the woe-is-us going on right now with each political “side” throwing the blame darts at the other, what if nobody notices that kids are coming back home and learning to relate to (and value!) their parents as adults. That would-be split-up couples who can’t financially part are knitting themselves back together successfully (yes, that’s happened now for two friends of mine. They couldn’t afford counseling, either.). That the $8,000 and up per day price tag for nursing home care has some families making the decision to have someone stay home to care for their parent(s). Yes, friends, what if the economy right now is a BLESSING—a pathway out of the darkness of corporate-controlled life?

My own daughter is 26 and lives here on the family property with her 5-year old daughter—The Munchkin—and it’s been a time for mutual discovery that I wouldn’t have traded the National Debt for.

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it. Hebrews 13:2

 

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