As with every anniversary of the deadly events of September 11, 2001, we will likely be inundated this week with a plethora of articles on the heroes from that day and those that gave their lives that others might live. Though we, as a nation, will never forget the events of that day and the impact it had on our nation, we need look no further than the disaster that struck recently in South Texas, and the events now unfolding throughout Florida and the Southeast to understand that it is a remarkable part of the American spirit to face adversity with a steadfast courage and open heart for those in need. Though I write this article on this, the 16th anniversary of that day in 2001, I am not going to write about those events, the controversy surrounding it, or even about the events of the most recent natural disasters in our country. I prefer to write about my own experience, and those of my family, to illustrate the point that I will make at the conclusion of this article.
One of the effects that we see playing out before us, whether on our TV screens or on the streets of this nation, of the long term and incremental destruction of the traditional family unit and model is the loss of what I refer to as the wisdom chain within our families. The wisdom chain is what I term the old model that was once prominent in America, and still is in some other cultures, of three generations of a family living together. Sometimes this came in the form of actually inhabiting the same home, and sometimes just in the form of regular gatherings. It is a model in which the grandparents acted as the patriarchs and matriarchs of the family, the holders of wisdom. The parents were the provider generation, providing for both the children and the grandparents who were now too old to work. Lastly, there were the children who were the benefactors of both the wisdom of the grandparents and the provision of the parents. This wisdom chain worked to provide for the passing down of the wisdom of the elder generation and instilling in the youngest generation the values and morals that they would need when assuming their position as the provider generation, and then eventually they would pass their wisdom on once they had moved into the role as patriarchs and matriarchs of their own families.