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Category: Citizenship / Topics: Civility Communication Ethics & Morality Family

Quality Citizens and Adults

by Dan Seagren

Posted: July 7, 2013

We live in a society where almost anything goes. Almost, but not quite.…

We live in a society where almost anything goes. Almost, but not quite. One area where we could do better is raising quality citizens and adults. But how do we go about this? Good questions with lots of answers, some better than others. Much better.

Let's explore some propositions first that are not as viable as we might want. One suggestion today is to let society raise our children. This does not mean the extended family not currently in vogue, but schools, government (federal, state and county). This could extend through college presumably. And it certainly could assist with broken homes, poverty stricken families but as a total approach it is more of a band aid but not a cure.

Another possibility is to impose restrictions on the number of children being born which is already in effect to some degree (like planned parenthood, abortion, contraception). Or, postponing child rearing until education is complete with money in the bank is possible. Cultures moving in this direction have not proven its value. Nor can they apparently.

One more option could be a consideration: discontinue the historically accepted concept of marriage between a man and a woman, unrelated and willing participants. Forced marriage (shotgun) and common law arrangements can in some instances be workable but the exception should not be considered the rule. Same sex unions along with polygamy and prearranged matrimonial procedures involving possible reluctant participants also should not be considered a universal norm either.

Now it is time to explore the tested and tried arrangement with all its ramifications. Ideally, two mature, adults, one male and one female joined together spiritually and biologically are prototypes of progeny. Usually this is a legal (civil/religious) relationship not intended for short terms and is the intended way of producing offspring. Human beings are created in this fashion deliberately, not incidentally. However, even the best unions at times malfunction although not the direct fault of the concept of a marital union. When children are born to mature, committed, virtuous parents, the odds significantly favor “quality citizens and adults.”

Recently an advertisement hit my desk with this heading: FOOTBALL IS A METHOD THAT PREPARES YOUNG PEOPLE TO BE QUALITY CITIZENS AND ADULTS. How? Natural talent is secondary to various qualities: disciplined physically, socially and academically; trained as technicians in the fundamentals of their positions. And more. Not bad advice from a coach.

Does the modern family need additional help in raising their children? Yes. But that should not replace the all important role of the family because it cannot. The coach, school, neighborhood, various relatives, clubs, church/synagogue all can play a supplemental, vital role in building “quality citizens and adults.” Whatever we can do to strengthen the family is worth whatever it takes. But do we believe that? If not, perhaps it should be given more thought.


Dan Seagren is an active retiree whose writings reflect his life as a Pastor, author of several books, and service as a Chaplain in a Covenant Retirement Community.

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Posted: July 7, 2013

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