Tradition 

So where are you going for Thanksgiving? When are you coming over for Christmas? Are you coming over for Easter?

As a man, I can understand that from a primitive standpoint, traditional gatherings are clan-like in nature. Similar to a wolf pack returning from a hunt paying homage by nuzzling the Alpha wolves of your pack, cementing each other’s places in the hierarchy and keeping the pack strong. 
 “A daughter’s a daughter for the rest of her life, a son is a son til he takes a wife” 

As this poem so prophetically describes, I propose it IS the wife/woman that establishes family tradition. This is a great responsibility not to be taken lightly. 

As the husband/male on the other hand, I see that my role is to support the traditions  my wife is establishing as long as,

  1. The intention of these traditions is to first and foremost keep our nuclear family strong
  2. They contribute to the bonding of the extended family clan/tribe. 

These extended relationships and bonds are like bank accounts where the parties involved each put in 60/60 so when times get tough, there is always 20% left in the account. This means at times this may be inconvenient uncomfortable. 

Cautiously, I must confess I have reluctantly attended gatherings under duress for the benefit of the clan. Again cautiously, I admit sometimes they sucked 🙂 but usually there was laughter and sense of belonging. 

Standing back, I can also see that it wasn’t about me but the next generation of boys/young men watching my actions/learning their role in the clan by MY example. 
May our traditions be healthy and become something bigger than ourselves that keep our families strong . 

Happy Holidays and may the dysfunction be forever in your favor. Peace. 

What we can learn from Archie Bunker? 

” That guy is a regular Jew”! As a 10 year old, I really had no idea, what that statement was insinuating. As an adult it came to my attention that it was a derogatory remark meaning somebody had a stereotypical frugality that supposedly Jews were known for. I was still trying to figure out why I was being called a “Cheesehead” (supposedly being Canadian born had something to do with it). For a moment think of Archie Bunker. He made bigoted stereo typical comments such as these. He was a hardworking man. Drove a taxi as a second job to make extra money. He came home like clockwork and expected dinner on the table.

Periodically Archie also showed his soft underbelly. I remember an episode of All in the Family when Archie painfully reminisced about being tormented with the nickname of “shoebooty”. It turned out the nickname came from his childhood when his family was so poor, he didn’t have a matching pair of shoes and was forced to wear one shoe and one boot. 

 Recently , it dawned on me , that the above description could’ve easily been that of my stepfather Tony. If he missed work because he was sick, that meant he couldn’t get out of bed. When my dad was on strike at work, he picked berries in the fields as well as bailing hay to make extra money. Tony also shared stories where he had struggled growing up, For example it was was a treat to eat a raw sweet onion, just like an apple. or the luxury of getting fruit in his stocking at Christmas. A stark difference between these two men was that Archie was a White Anglo Saxson Protestant aka a WASP and Tony was a Mexican American originally from Texas.The premise of this post is not too belittle or dishonor but rather take an honest look at perhaps what made these men tick. Just in the past week, millions of, Archie Bunkers showed up to vote. The reference is not to that of the bigoted ignorant not politically correct voter, but rather The citizen that is busting their ass, see their house devalue. Seeing manufacturing jobs go elsewhere and a government that seems to be only interested in themselves.

 Back to the comment at the beginning of this post. What statement have you made? Typical, (fill in the blank), right winger, bible thumper, socialist, libtard, liberal, and conservitroll. I remember a few of Archie’s favorites, Pinko Commie, (still never figured out the “pinko”reference). 

Point being, how much of the “fill in the blank” portion of your statement is shaped by what we are being fed by social media, agenda driven news sources, as well as, personal relationships. 

I will leave you with this, *Carroll O’Connor who played Archie Bunker, was one of the most liberal open-minded caring people you can imagine. Not only is this a tribute to his acting skill but also a tribute to him as a human being, A human being who took the time to not only portray but, also understand somebody elses point of view. A point of view on the other end of the spectrum. Peace. 

-RR

 

*Carroll O’Connor played Archie Bunker on the groundbreaking 1970s sitcom All in the Family. His comedic portrayal of a working-class bigot brought political and social issues into the popular dialogue of the time.