A bright, personable, caring young woman in my writing seminar this fall said she had absolutely no interest in marriage because her parents had failed so miserably at it.
I felt no need to sell marriage, but her passionate rejection of it reminded me of how we often generalize from our experiences way too much.
Then I read this blog post, The In-Between Process, by an exceptional alumnae of my writing seminar. And this sentence jumped off the page, “I get to choose to be different, and I will be.”
As sociologists remind us, the vast majority of time we follow pretty damn closely in our parent(s)’ footsteps. As we see in her friend’s kitchen, some though do manage to “be different” by seeking alternative family mentors and friends.
Those of us fortunate to enjoy happy and healthy families should never take them for granted. Instead, we should look for opportunities to love and support those mired in troubled, dysfunctional families.