About families and intruding strangers

Amoral Familism- people put the needs and interests of their families higher than those of the rest of society.

It is almost logical that people within a society will put their own needs and the needs of their loved ones before those of some strangers. We survive as a society, and we, even though living in such a globalized world, see society as a very small quantity of people. People in need are the people I see at my home, at my office, or maybe even in my social life. That quantity of people may be our world, but they are not the world, and the needs of these persons are not necessarily the needs of the world. We see for the well being of these people surrounding us, but are they really always in need? Society as a whole is more than just a little group of people with the same last name or that share some relation to one another. We share a relationship to everyone as human beings, no matter up bringing, last name or whatever external invention we have created.

After this primal instinct of protecting our loved ones, aren’t we as human beings socially responsible for all our species, our whole planet? In family is where we learn values, where we as children learn to love each other, or hate each other. Most of the ideals that move leaders and followers to their goals would most definitely have a strong foundation in family values and were this people grew up. One interesting value created throughout history is familism. As Marlon Brando’s “Don Corleone” famously put in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather “A man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man.” A person, not just a male, should always feel attracted and feel a strong love for her own family, the roots that have founded her own existence. But this small group should never deviate the well being of others for the sake of being better themselves. Let’s say a person goes to a restaurant during vacation time with her family, and has fifty dollars for the occasion. After eating and enjoying a good time the check comes with a total of forty-three dollars. If you give the waiter the right amount of tip you and your family will not be able to go for some ice cream after it. It is almost a fact that you will not see this person that waited your table again. Maybe it would seem unethical to leave the waiter without the proper amount of tip for the sake of having your family happier. Family is the beginning and foundation of a person, it is the most important part of a person’s life but it should never be the end cause. Family should be the cause that creates change at a bigger scale like an explosion, not an implosion.

Suppose there is a town nearby that has been divided into tribes of people with practically the same needs and similar conflicts. Imagine there is a proven epidemic that will be hitting this town in the next couple of years. This epidemic will definitely annihilate most of the town. The most intelligent movement for this town would be to forget their existential problems with one another and begin to look for a solution for this common problem that will be hitting them. Amoral familism if let loose may work at a bigger scale than just families and small towns. The fact that we care, firstly for our own families and their needs, is not wrong by any means, what’s wrong is that we forget other person’s needs for the luxuries of our own family. Countries work in a similar way; we would prefer to have our citizens living comfortably and with unnecessary economic wealth than to help another country with their, for example, extreme poverty problems.

To progress as a globalized community, to survive as a species, we should see problems like global warming or starvation as what they are human beings’ problems. There is no African problem or South American problem; their situation should also be a priority concern for Europe and America. Leaving most of the sentimentality out of the equation, let’s suppose that a corporation is managed almost entirely by three founding partners. They all three manage different aspects of the production of a certain good but endure the same amount of hard work. One of them buys and gets the raw material to fabricate this good, the second is in charge of the fabrication of it, and the third is in charge of the selling of the finished material. They all three work hard in their own departments and give good results of the material needed at different stages. Still one of the partners receives only one tenth of the profits, other receives one-fifth part and the third receives the rest. The first two of the partners do not have enough money to fulfill their family needs correctly, like food and shelter, while the third one can give herself and her family an enormous amount of luxuries. The inequality of the rewarding profits does not seem fair. They all are founding partners but not all of them are enjoying the profits, not because they are not making their job correctly, but because of an unequal distribution of wealth. Introducing a little humanity into this last example, wouldn’t the rich partner feel responsible for the suffering of the other partners? If a person works better than the other they should receive a higher pay, that’s true, but what if everybody is giving hard work and results? Some inequality is essential for the advancement of an economy, but there should not be space for an exaggerated inequality where luxuries are put before the needs of others. There is no balance in a world where people take a bigger share because they want to give late model cars and over-priced cell phones to their “family” without caring that they are leaving the rest of the “partners” without enough to eat or stay healthy.

The idea is not to leave families starving; family is rather where good things should start. Values and morality start at home. These teachings should bring a domino effect, a chain reaction that provokes a society more prosperous, not the other way. Families are not an economic institution that treasures money or transmits the need to cherish all the goods they can for themselves, families should be the start of giving to others and cherish all the good they can give to others. Luxuries are second-placed against the need of another human being. At the end seen in a global way we all human beings are family.