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The New Challenge for Families

“A home with a loving and loyal husband and wife is the supreme setting in which children can be reared in love and righteousness and in which the spiritual and physical needs of children can be met.”

It was Aristotle, in his Social Philosophy who has defined the importance of family in society. According to him, the family is the basis for community, but he does not adequately establish the significance of the individual and the intrinsic goodness of marriage and family. The superiority and sovereignty of the political regime overshadow the family.

Today, the whole Catholic community celebrates The Feast of the Holy Family. The Holy Family, according to the church is the perfect example of what every family should be. However, the family now-a-days is being faced with several challenges which puts the family in a dilemma.

You might be asking yourself, what can be the possible challenges for the family today? There are several possible challenges for the family and among these different challenges are the following:

Individualism

Individualism is practically an ideology, a social outlook that emphasizes the moral worth of the individual. This school of thought technically favors and uplifts the individual as an entity that does not need or require other members of the family. The school of thought where I am great and can survive without the help of other individuals that surround me.

Hedonism

Pleasure is the sole or chief good in life. This school of thought or ideology focuses more on achieving pleasure. For as long as an action provides pleasure, whether it be physically or emotionally, I do not need to worry about what others would say, think, or do. My aim as an individual is simply to achieve the highest form or degree of pleasure.

Both these ideologies are considered threats in the family because they start dysfunctionalism in the family itself. Dysfunctionalism in the family structure is rooted as both ideologies tend to remove the other members of the family, these ideologies do not consider the other members of the family, and because these two ideologies or schools of thought focuses more on the individual person, living an isolated life where he does not need to interact, or even worry about having a harmonious relationship with other individuals or members of the family.

The family structure is slowly being ruined and being destroyed by such ideologies that makes it hard for parents to be able to teach their children basic ethics and for the children to have a grasp of what is right and what is wrong. The teachings of hedonism and individualism turn to twist concepts of right and wrong, of good or bad, etc.

This is the new challenge for families today. How can parents be able to make the family work as one unit, the solidarity and unity of the family is now being swept away and being eliminated by the concept of Individualism, where I do not anymore see myself as working with the other members of the family but working as a single individual? Hedonism on the other hand, destroys the unity of the family by pushing concept that I would only follow my parents or work with other family members for as long as the task is pleasurable but if I don’t find pleasure in it, then I would not do it. Given both concepts, how can we now raise our children and how can we teach them the value of family?

The challenge of the family is a challenge for all of us. A challenge that may cause the total dysfunctionalism of society. This is something that we, as a nation, as a country should face and resolve. A challenge that is not only present in the Philippines but also in families located in other countries and nations.

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