News and Tribune


February 19, 2013

CUMMINS: Does your family need re-organizing?

Everything is either simple or complex. Consider my family, or yours. During my infancy, mother made everything simple, but my life became complex when I began questioning the legitimacy of Santa Claus. Looking back, I think it was love, or maybe marriage, which disorganized my life. The problem with marriage is that, supposedly, two are to merge into one. Once you work that out, children enter the picture like something Picasso paints, and, then their children and their children add strokes to your surreal landscape.

Back in the old days, families were intact. Today, a few families function “dynamically” — but most lack efficient organization, functioning as Congress does. Back then, family organization centered around a father figure, sitting on an unstable throne, issuing decrees. If a child rebelled, he was outcast. It wasn’t easy for fathers when mothers teared up. However, God-ordained fathers persevered, searching for milk and honey in the wilderness just as Moses did. It was tough on old-time fathers wandering around for 40 years, waiting for the sea to part.

Modern-family structure changed all that. Fathers protested, but they had no other choice. Yes, they can run away, and many do. However, organizational specialists now help chaotic-prone families attain profitable bliss. I prefer a submissive and subdued family, myself, but understand the benefits of tight-fit togetherness. To accomplish anything in this modern world, you have to incorporate. How’s this sound, the Terry Cummins Family, Inc.

Here’s how I understand it as explained by Bruce Feiler in the Wall Street Journal-Bible. First, the father calls a meeting of his family and announces he’s abdicating his throne. It will hurt when I do it, but my crown has been a heavy burden, tilting my head to one side and then the other. Once assembling my family, I will inform them we are re-organizing into a dynamic, democratic unit where each member has a “say.” If a member does or says anything outrageous, then I, who lived through wars, famine and the onslaught of Facebook, will filibuster it.

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