Culture, Family, Main, Opinion, z268
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Forced Dysfunction

For those who are parents or for those who grew up in some type of family, you know that a family needs certain things to survive. Daily routines require someone to take charge and in normal families the one in charge takes into account what is necessary for the entire family. For example, if one child likes donuts for supper, it is unlikely that every supper will consist of only donuts.

Surrendering the entire family to the needs of one of the children makes no sense. Yet this happens often. I know a few families with several kids but the one that shows promise in sports or academics gets the bulk of if not all the attention. The other children feel less then when compared to that child. I have also seen cases in which the dad or the mom puts their career or their needs first and the rest of the family has to adjust to their schedule or their desires.  

In these cases, families don’t work well. There is division and strife, competition and jealousy. The family becomes dysfunctional. This is especially true when one or both of the parents have addiction problems or misuse their parental authority or neglect it. In many such cases, the children or one child tends to run the show. It is their needs that are more important than the whole family.

In the case in which the parents are absent or neglectful, often this child becomes like a parent and does the best they can to offer shelter and sustenance for their siblings.

Families only work when there are certain expectations met and when the needs of the entire family are taken into account by the parents or parent.

I remember having family meetings to solve some issue or to decide on some course of action or vacation. I think we even voted once or twice, In the end, my wife and I had veto power. The children may have wanted four dogs, five cats, three rabbits, and for that strange uncle to live with us, but we had to make the decisions about what was best for the family.

This just makes sense. One person in a family cannot make the entire family bow down to their needs. The family loses balance when this happens and no longer serves any true purpose other than meeting the need of one part of it. In our family of five, each child was important and individual but each child was a minority.

If a minority governs the majority, what happens?

Chaos happens.

The family begins to lose its way and there is infighting. If we let the athlete run the family, what happens to the reader? If we let the reader run the family, what happens to the singer? The family needs to be balanced and centered upon what is good for the whole family. All the members, each one, are important, but without the success and bonds of the family structure, no one wins. Everyone loses when the tail wags the dog.

And yet that is what we are doing as a society!

The government is telling the majority that they matter less than the minority.  The governments have chosen one segment (a child using the family analogy) and told the rest of the family that whatever that one wants is more important than what every other member wants (the other children using that same analogy). Elevating one small sector over the others doesn’t work in families, so why do we think it will work in society?

When the majority are forced to change language for fear of hurting a minority that is a harmful step of censorship. A few years ago, we were told not to say Merry Christmas because it might offend one person or a small group of people. We are now being told that he and she cannot be used because they might offend a small group who chose not to use them.

Putting a minority above the majority is not democracy.

It is an elite dictatorship that hides behind inclusive language when in reality it is exclusive. It excludes the majority of people, and it excludes and even shuts down people who disagree in any way the dysfunctioning of our society. This is harmful and divides us and makes us restless and distrustful of each other. This is not good parenting nor is it good governing.

Be offended by this while you still can.


Andy Becker is a pastor, retired counsellor and former CEO of a Hospice organization. His book, The Travelers, is available at and

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