Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Something bigger than yourself

I think in the past 50 years Americans have lost the idea of belonging to something bigger than yourself. I say this, or at least I started thinking along this way, having come across some Feminist blogs. And part of me wants to support many of the feminist ideals (shock, horror!). I like the idea of equal pay for equal work. I actually think that if the mom is able to secure a better paying job there's fundamentally nothing wrong with her working and the dad staying at home and taking care of the kids.

But when I examine so much of the rhetoric, it isn't about efficiency, or what is best for the family - the rhetoric is about self-fulfillment, about being allowed to reach one's potential. And it struck me what gets me about that. It's a lack of understanding that you are part of something bigger than yourself (and the fact that most feminist arguments seem to stem from a socialist stripe of analysis, viewing money as the only real power, hence completely and innaccurately downplaying the influence a stay at home parent (mom or dad) has upon the family).

Life isn't about reaching your full potential. Life isn't about finding fulfillment. Life is about living for the sake of your neighbor - indeed, realizing that you are part of something bigger than yourself. I am going to be getting hitched. I will be part of a new family. That family is bigger, is more important than me as an individual.

Of course, it's not just the feminists who forget this. They are a reaction - and the horror tales they point to are merely examples of men who have forgotten that they belong to something bigger than themselves. Of course, that's what all sin ultimately is - incurvatus se - sin claiming it's all about me. And thus, no one does his or her duty - or to make it sound more scriptural, and everyone does what is right in their own eyes. Woe is us, woe is us.

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