Letter: We’d like return to nuclear household

“The family is one of nature‘s masterpieces.” These words, from Spanish philosopher George Santayana, exemplify the answer to many of America‘s woes. Santayana is also the sage who uttered the profound prophecy, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Both of these quotations may be reprised in relation to several social crises which plague central Ohio. Regarding the latter, we keep making the same mistakes in trying to solve the riddle of violence and mistaken choices by our young people. We do not learn from the past.

The former words provide the answer. The family unit provides the mechanism for us to blend and function in society. It is the only way for this to happen on a long-term, permanent basis. There exists no other process by which individual human beings in a modern society can learn to make intelligent choices and to respect proper authority. One key here is that the family comes in to play at an early stage, not after the young people have formed established paths of choice and behavior.

I am struck by recent news articles that decry local drug abuse, violence and rampant homicides. The Tuesday op-ed “Adding police won‘t reduce local violence” by Dan Clark referred to “life-saving strategies to de-escalate violence” and “police officers are rarely held accountable.” Clark actually is writing about two different situations — homicides committed by individual citizens (often black-on-black) and excessive law-enforcement measures. Even though law enforcement needs to improve, an officer almost never confronts anyone unless that person is reasonably suspected of doing something wrong.

Clark said only better policing will quell the violence ravaging our streets. I assume he is referring to one-on-one homicides and not police excesses.

The Feb. 2 Dispatch article “Causes of homicide rate discussed at East Side gathering” said there were recommendations to get more African-American participation in the police department. It was mentioned that a 26-year-old courtroom defendant with a fifth-grade education could not read court documents. This indeed is sad.

But then, toward the end of the article, Bishop Timothy Clarke said “We need to handle our business in the home.” He noted that “too many families are fractured.” Three cheers for those words; they are our salvation.

Let us go back to nature‘s masterpiece — the family.

Don Denton



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