November 23, 2018

Food for Thought

Before the modern technologies addressed most of our urgent needs, a family was a necessary unit of survival. It wasn’t just limited to raising children; even after children are all grown up, they still needed each other to survive. Today, particularly in the developed countries, we don’t need our families to survive. The roles we are expected to play as family members have changed because of technologies. The same happened for gender. In the Stone Age, separation of labor by gender was necessitated by nature. For instance, women were ill-suited for hunting as they could not have brought their infants with them, and men were ill-suited for feeding infants because they didn’t have breasts. Today technologies rendered these difference irrelevant.

But family traditions like Thanksgiving still remain as rituals. It’s not because we survived hardships as a team that we come together to celebrate our accomplishments. These rituals themselves have turned into the hardships we must survive because nature can no longer supply us meaningful hardships. When there are real problems and challenges to overcome, we are much more forgiving of each other. We learn to accept idiosyncrasies and neuroses of each other. But without the bigger enemy outside, all we have now are these annoying idiosyncrasies and neuroses, and we have to wonder why we need to put up with them. There aren’t any reasons today. If you do have a good reason, a worthy challenge for your family to overcome, in a way, you are lucky. It gives your family a real reason to love each other unconditionally.

#thanksgiving #turkey #family #postmodernfamily #nycfoodie #nycfood