Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Blood Is Thicker Than Water And Other Things

I'm just now catching with a lot of stuff going on on the interwebz and I have discovered this wonderful post by Lydia Sherman which I somehow missed.

 In it, Lydia talks about the situation apparently common in many families where close relatives cut each other off, like in parents having no time for their children and vice versa. Of course, we all know that sometimes one has to make difficult choices to preserve peace, for instance when one's relatives keep attacking him/her and one's lifestyle choices, exercise bad influences over the children  or present any form of danger because of antisocial activities they engage in.

However, in most run-of-the-mill families situation is hardly so dire that it requires total shunning of some of its members and I also believe it's not what Lydia really had in mind. What she was talking about is all-too-common modern phenomenon of people not having time for each other because they are too busy acquiring material possessions and engaging in all sorts of activities and pursuits.

 It's like they never left high school because being the most popular guy/girl in town appears to be their top priority. They are so busy doing stuff and being cool and climbing social ladder and working and whatnot that they never ever have time for their relatives, even close ones. (And of course, spending time with the family, unless they are wealthy and important is viewed as "uncool".)

Modern people are taught to disregard the importance of blood ties, and yet, if one gets into trouble it's often one's family which is there for him, not the colleagues or the acquaintances he encounters in his social club once a week. That is not to say that friendship isn't important, it's really a blessing to have good friends, friends in need, yet to cultivate a real friendship one needs to invest time into it and, just like with relatives, many people don't have time to bother with building real life relationships, they prefer Facebook friends instead.

I believe this onslaught on the family is deliberate. A society of atomised individuals is easier to manipulate than a society consisting of strong families where relatives are eager to help each other. Contrary to what we are told, there is such thing as the voice of blood. You can live far away from your close relatives for years, and yet when you meet you quickly get accustomed to each other's company, as opposed to building a relationship with perfect strangers which takes time and effort.

 You share the same DNA and the same bloodline. Extended family is or should be a natural safety net, and thus is in direct competition with welfare state. Constant attacks on extended and now also nuclear family are part and parcel of the war waged against nation-states, national sovereignty, European identity and our very existence.

I'm not saying that you should hang around with some cousins you can't stand just because they are family or allow your siblings to interfere into your own family affairs or keep lending money to some relative who never pays his debts. It's just however busy you are, don't forget to phone your parents/children this weekend. They may need you more than you think! And hanging out with cousins can be fun, too, provided you have some things in common...Don't forget that blood is thicker than water.


  1. Very interesting topic, I have been pondering over the thick blood topic for years due to personal issues, but generally speaking this thick blood makes it so easy for close relatives to stick to each other. Extended relatives can be of real help in the case of orphaned children in order to avoid a total departure from the biological family and a backup net whenever one gets in need. Material advantages seem to work at lower capacity in the case of people who lived separated from parents or close relatives in spite of high financial standards. Having one's family is a unique blessing, replacing the natural family with another family is a helping hand that may cover up to 75% -80% of what a natural thick blood family would have achieved under similar social conditions and material standards.

  2. Alexandra, to have an extended family who care for you and are friendly is a blessing! Unfortunately, some families are dysfunctional, which places the vulnerable such as young children, in disadvantaged conditions. Modern solution appears to be the destruction of normal families as well, so that nobody has a "privileged" background. It's just another step in never-ending equality crusade.

  3. Not everybody can count on an extended family. I know several situations where children had to live in other families because neither parents nor uncles wanted them although they had a house where to live. It is not just the equality crusade that is dangerous if everybody lives on the same standard, living in a social care centre instead of a family makes it very difficult for children aswell. Think of how it feels to wake up in a perpetual daycare atmosphere that never ends. Modern methods appeared as an alternative to the traditional orphanage. This doesn't mean it is a desirable situation for a normal society. Every child should be raised by his natural father and mother who should be married. But because women started bearing children while unwed, divorce is something common. The solution to this problem is proper education meaning a traditional one, not a feminist one. A family is the best place to live when you are a child. Living in a family may help children and future adults understand how important a family actually is, although they unfortunately had to live outside the natural family.

  4. I wish more people would understand the importance of family and building real life, lasting relationships with others, as opposed to the popularity contests of who has the most Facebook friends. I wonder how many of these virtual friends would lend one money when one needed it?

  5. Housewife from FinlandOctober 6, 2016 at 3:29 AM

    I actually blame grandmothers for the current situation. I have noticed that in many families the family, aunts cousins etc. were quite close as long as the grandmother lived. I talk about those grandmothers who were born between WWI and WWI (or maybe even before WWI). When they passed away, families break. I have seen this in many families, including my own. Women who were born after WWII, babyboomers and later, do not seem to now how to "grandmother properly". Even if they babysit their grandchildren etc, they seem to be unable to unite the family.

    I suppose it is mere coincidence that they are the first women ever to enjoy the joys of working outside the home, feminism, the Pill etc... (middle class women, that is, working class women has of course always worked.)

  6. Housewife, grandmothers are often the most feminist:)Old way of life was quite family oriented, but it started rapidly disintegrating after WWII. Partly because more women went to work, partly because it suddenly was considered old-fashioned. I think in one of Miss Silver novels there was a wealthy man who for years had supported his poor relatives and let them live in his house and then he married and his wife was too fashionable for his "Victorian" manner of living and wanted to kick them all out.

    About working class women working, by some reason in Finland more women were employed outside home than in other countries as early as 1900. In the USA in 1890 only about 4% of all women worked (2% of the white women). I doubt the rest were all middle class:)

  7. Working outside the home means that all women who worked on the family farm or in the family store are not included, even though they are working.

  8. We´ve had this discussion before. To quote from the article:

    Already in 1900, life was not as oriented around agriculture and farming as one might think. I want to add, in the situation of a family living on a farm in the countryside where both the husband and the wife worked equally to maintain the productivity of the farm, both the husband and the wife would have been considered employed, the husband categorized as a “farmer” and the wife most likely categorized as an “agricultural laborer”; the very low numbers of married women working is not due to women’s work on the family farm not being counted.

  9. And more:

    In 1900, 25% of women 16 years old and older lived in cities of 50,000 people or more. In terms of employment, however, agricultural employment for both sexes was less than you might think. Already in 1900, even though the number of married women working was still very low, the occupations that most people held were already removed from the basic necessity of producing food. In 1900, among those 16 and older, 34% of all employment was in the agricultural sector; 38% of the employment for men and 16% of the employment of women. Outside of agriculture the biggest employment category for men was manufacturing and mechanical pursuits, employing 25% of men; and for women was domestic and personal service, employing 40% of the women who were working.

    It is not accurate to say that in 1900 almost everyone still worked on the farm and that is why the domestic sphere of women was still valued.