"Right up through the 50's kids, for example, were rarely alone. They didn't need to be carted from organized activity to organized activity, instead running out into the neighborhood. And their parents were not afraid for them, in part because they were certain other adults in the neighborhood would keep an eye on them, correct them if need be, and be obeyed. What today is called a busybody (or worse) used to be a decent neighbor. Sound creepy? Not if you actually KNEW the person; they were, to pick up on one of Caleb's points, friends of a sort, even if not your closest friends.Social pressure, community, and honest volunteership. The thing that makes this conversation so poignant and convicting for me is how this sense of community can be lost in our church life as well. This conversation is one about sociology, but no more so than it is about ecclesiology.
Now we demand a specialized degree and a salary (pathetically small though it be) for every job. This hasn't made our libraries, etc. better or more respected, far from it. But it has destroyed the fabric of familiarity, friendship and, yes, social pressure that once helped us civilize our kids (and ourselves). We once, not so long ago, knew one another well enough to be able to point out our foibles, now we can't even live differently without it being taken for an insult and an intrusion. Sad is what it is."
Friday, February 24, 2006
CrunchyCon on National Review Online: