Living in a rural area as we do, family spirit and community spirit is very strong. People look out for each other. Old people are taken care of. Aunts and cousins help with small children. Teens are monitored by many family eyes.
In the ‘modern world’, aka the US and the UK, this very often doesn’t happen anymore, or at least not in my experience. When I was a young girl in the US, we knew our neighbours, and they watched out for each other’s children. They all felt free to tell you off if you did something wrong – and your own parents would applaud their efforts. How many now have neighbours, or are neighbours, like that?
In the UK, it’s the same. It’s easy to blame Thatcher for it. She didn’t believe in community, only the the individual. So now it’s OK to just worry about you being happy while your kids vegetate in front of the TV or computer. It’s OK to ignore the sounds of children being abused next door, just turn your stereo up so you don’t hear it.
Why am I so cynical today? News of a split from someone I know very well. For about the gazillionth time, the couple is splitting, leaving (once again) 2 small children not understanding what they’ve done wrong.
Never mind, as long as you can still get that new car/new house/new dress, you can tell yourself it’s all OK.