26 January 2008

Extended Families

Why are so many Americans so unhappy..? All manner of plausible causes present themselves, but the master cause may be the most elemental: Homo sapiens, a familial animal like the wolf or hyena rather than asolitary like the bear, is genetically unequipped to live without the emotional suppport of uncles, aunts, first cousins, and second cousins, in addition to siblings, parents, and children....Periodic gatherings for the ceremonies of birth, marriage, and death; the much more frequent celebration of birthdays, name days, anniversaires and seasonal feasts; as well as webs of less-formal socializing, all serve to keep the machinery of human families in working order. That is how people live all over the world in village, town, or city - but not in comtemporary America.

-Edward N. Luttwak, as found in The Sun.


Radarman said...

Cincinnati is, as it is in so many cases, an exception to the American norm. The mother-daughter tie here exhibits strength found nowhere else in chemistry.

CityKin said...

I also suspect that this quote is a few decades old, as much of the rest of the world is attempting to emulate our lifestyle.