I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting this year. Pondering. Meditating. Thoughtful wandering. One of the subjects that I’ve been giving a lot of thought on is divorce. It is an ugly word. A word that far too many people are comfortable with.
In my grandparents generation divorce was just becoming ‘accepted’, however generally still regarded only acceptable if adultery or abuse was involved. In my parents generation divorce was becoming more common. About half the kids I knew growing up came from divorce. In my generation, marriage has become somewhat of a rarity. Gays and lesbians fight for the right and straight couples stray away from it. I know several people who refuse marriage, seeing it as a curse. Almost everyone I know is in a ‘civil’ union rather than marriage, have been divorced or are going through a divorce. Ninety-five percent of the classmates I started Kindergarten with fit into one of the above categories. All of my grandparents have been divorced at least once. My parents were divorced when I was in the first grade. I was divorced at the age of twenty-one with two small children ages three and two. My older brother and younger sister have both went through divorce at a young age (two younger brothers have yet to marry). Having a couple announce their divorce/split is almost as common as having a couple announce their engagements.
In all of my pondering, I can’t help but wonder…Is marriage today weak because we, as a species, have forgotten how to love?
If so, what is the fate of our children? Our grandchildren? Will marriage survive? Or will it be extinct one hundred years from now? Is marriage unnecessary? Will people only form bonds for procreation/recreational purposes? Or are we meant to be with more than one person in our lifetime? Are we destined to share our love with more than one mate? Can we once again learn how to love, to cherish, to encourage and uplift? Can marriage become a thing of beauty once more? An inspiration? Something sacred?
What do you think?
Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you. ~William Arthur Ward, college administrator, writer (1921-1994)