Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Roaming - Part 1

Moving far away from your extended family isn't a good idea. In fact, I think it's one of the worst problems our nation has succumb to and is a leading cause behind the break down of the family. Issues such as abortion are more symptomatic of deeper problems, and deracination is one of them.

The word deracinate literally means to "de-root" (the term racine is French for 'root', deriving from the Latin term radix). The very concept of 'uprooting' should cause discomfort in our minds, and rightfully so, since the roots are what provide the basis for a healthy and stable life. So it's obvious that a culture that is founded (if you can use that term) upon deracination will ultimately lead to unstable and unhealthy families. Indeed, civilization becomes impossible without roots. 

The ancients rightly understood the pain associated with being removed from extended family. After Cain murdered his brother, God knew that a simple retaliation would not do justice to the crime, so God punished Cain by making him a nomad (Gen 4:12-13). Abraham was called by God to leave his country and family behind (Gen 12:1; Heb 11:8-9), something that took a lot of faith and the significance of this move is largely lost on our culture. And the Israelites were both forced to wander the desert for 40 years and be exiled for 70 years for their sins, punishments not easy to handle. The notion of being a nomad, moving from place to place without somewhere to call home, is a prominent theme throughout the Bible. Even our Christian journey is about recognizing that Earth is not our permanent home, and so those who are truly aware of this reality will always feel the discomfort of this life (Heb 11:13-16).

While there can be good reasons to move far away from family, it shouldn't be happening on such a large scale, and I don't think most people move away from family for the right (or logical) reasons. This includes parents sending their children to out of state colleges, where the child is basically left on their own, and often ends up hanging out with a bad crowd who takes the place of family. And I know many people who moved far away from their parents and ended up getting married and 'settling down' in a distant city, where they ended up suffering the heart ache and other negative effects of not having that extended family to lean on and grow up together with.

Without extended family you're a transient. Even the home you're in doesn't have the feeling of permanence beyond a single generation. You must now turn to unhealthy sources in times of need, such as governmental assistance, childcare, and high-interest loans. This means that you miss out on the wisdom of grandparents, the brotherly care when something breaks down or money is tight, and the standard conditions by which to have a large family. Neighbors no longer know each other, since the neighborhood always has families moving in and out, as if they lived in short-term apartments. In short, civilization cannot exist. This deliberate uprooting of oneself from their native soil is a false ideology that the last generation of parents completely fell for, and it ended up hurting them and their children quite badly.

My suggestion and strategy against this mindset is to be willing to speak out against it, since this is one of the most taboo subjects you can bring up. This subject will surely offend many, but only because they'll realize the truth to it. I know many people who just left their hometown and traveled across country, not realizing the danger, but I tell many people I know that they'll be much happier if they move back to the city their extended family is in. They actually appreciate the advice. 

For practical purposes, when a child moves out of the house, he shouldn't go more than 10 miles away. Anything else and it just becomes a chore to see your relatives, and that's all it takes to have a lifetime of regrets. It also makes observing the commandment to honor your father and mother almost impossible. It really doesn't matter if it's a job or if you just want to live somewhere else, the smartest thing to do is to stay close to home; everything else just isn't worth it. 

The issue of deracination is also an example of how Conservatism destroyed this nation, since Conservatives saw nothing wrong with this, and indeed even supported it through chasing after out of state jobs and such. Of course, it could be said that this mindset goes back to the fact America is founded upon people uprooting themselves from Europe, including the various waves of immigration, and the various homesteading that took place in the western states that had people drop everything and head west. As a result, it's become literally impossible to even have a civilization, since most people living here don't have roots that go beyond maybe 100 years, if not less. And with the invention of mass transit, this has all but put a nail in the coffin, for even these 100 years never provided an opportunity to put down roots.

I think this roaming mentality is contrary to both natural law and divine law, and the latter I will get to in part 2. For now, I would hope readers agree with the general point being made, which is that Natural Law directs us to live in community, with the family being the fundamental building block.


Devin Rose said...

Yup, agreed.

Monica said...

Thank you for saying this.

Eufrosnia D said...

Dear Sir,

Your post is spot on!! I am from the Eastern part of the world where we naturally have a system which discourages this form of movement. Families stick together. Young men and women only move out of the Parent's house once they are married. Often they will invite the parents to live with them as the parents grow older.

I always found that it helped avoid most of the sinful behavior that family members fall in to today. Young men and women fall in to all sort of sins in Colleges. The husbands to sin because they are so far away from the wife. The wife because of the same reasons. The grand parents in to despair because they do not get to be old. Some grand parents try to be young and contract other marriages and create all sorts of scandals.

In short, I cannot help but agree with you!!

Nick said...

Thank you for your comments! Sorry for the delay in getting to this since they got labeled as spam in my Gmail.

It's good to hear from people in Europe and I'm glad to hear they encourage families to live close to each other.