Years ago, as was in the case of Virgin Mary, you did not have a choice if you were to marry or to whom you were given to in marriage. Happiness may not have been the lot for some women or girls, as these arrangements were part of your culture. St. Joseph was elderly and probably did not live too long, yet tradition says that Mary was ever-virgin. She never remarried possibly because they lived all together in communities, or with families who took care of one another. And, there was the apostle John. Those of you that hang on every letter in the bible ought to know by now, that not every detail is given, only matters of importance. That is why Church tradition is so important.
That was then, but now it's no longer common for a marriage to take place in this country by arrangement. There are still some, for many reasons, mostly religious. The important part is that partners are on equal grounds, sharing the responsibility of raising the children. Yet, the battle of the sexes still goes on doesn't it? Who will wear the pants, or who gets to have full authority, the last word, or however you say it. At least you've chosen the person that your with, and most likely you get along because, there is love. I have vivid memories of the couples of the last generation, with the man constantly reminding his wife to cover her knees, and, to the announcement of their immediate departure, by the domineering male, she sprang up like a yo-yo. No if, ands or buts. Things have changed more than you realize, today.
I often wondered how can you learn to love the person that you get stuck with, especially in the case where the man forced upon you is elderly? We just don't appreciate how "free" we are in this country, born in this century, and having the choices we enjoy.
The book that I'm reading, has opened my eyes to a whole other prospective on life.
The writer did not come from that country initially, so it was as they say, "a new world." Someone else had to hold her passport, and make decisions for her. She no longer was able to drive, or go anywhere by herself. She became like a child in a world of ruling men. It didn't matter what her hair looked like, no one saw her and she was not allowed to look into any one's eyes when she conversed with them. All because woman are too beautiful to behold. They are treated like protected merchandise. They have no opinion, no choice, --prisoner's to obedience. Polyester garments are worn by force, are ungodly, and man-made. Full coverings are worn, no matter how hot it gets. Their dress was not a religious direction but was legislated, and was said to be a corruption of Divine instruction. A living oppression, in a policed state of male supremacy. Even worship is mandatory, everything closing in its stead, and enforced by state appointed religious police.
What is the result of children raised in an atmosphere of oppression? Brokenness. Some signs are intoxication, and drugs, withdrawal from life and sometimes expulsion from school and jealousies. That is often the product of a rich, polygamous family. They are often married to young girls groomed to be a bride, but not a wife, ending up back with her parents, umbilically connected to her mother. Feelings of abandonment, and of having no value, drive them to desperate acts. Outcasts in their own families, unable to bridge the generation abyss, of aging fathers and not feeling they belong anywhere. They look to escape---self.
These are the sons of fathers who are old enough to be their grandfathers, no longer having interest in children, who avoid them by circulating amongst their other wives, while the sons are embarking on an age of modern bachelorhood, enduring feelings of misplaced identities. Luxury is not the problem, it is fitting in in a changed society. One example was sited of two young guys who were involved in a horrible crash, sons of a 72-year-old wealthy merchant, born to his fourth wife. One son a known alcoholic at 11.
Does any of this sound familiar? A child sent away to get the best education possible. Away from his mother, becomes lonely. Money cannot buy love.
When everything else is more important than you are, and you feel abandoned, you place very "little value" on yourself. Mixed with feelings of loneliness and hopelessness comes depression and sadly, many find themselves on a one-way track to disaster.
Many things are different, yet some the same, then and now all over the world. There are levels of oppression, its the children who do the suffering, and that is evidenced everywhere.
Almost A Minyan
4 months ago