Thursday, April 9, 2009

Elder Oaks' Talk Was Right On The Mark. Read This...

Elder Dallin H. Oaks' talk at General Conference about selfishness and greed really impressed me. He identified several current societal problems. I found this article interesting after having reviewed his talk.

This news article is one of those 'DUH!' moments for committed LDS people, but is a revelation for the rest of the world. It focuses on how having kids can hurt the satisfaction in a marriage.

The article cites a Professor Scott Stanley from the University of Denver.


Bottom line: it's all about selfishness... the 'ME' generation.

According to the article:
1. 90% of the 218 couples studied experienced decreased marital satisfaction after the first child was born.
(My comment: Yes, because their priorities revolved around themselves, their gratification, their things, their status, etc. Children kept them off of the golf course or away from the bar buddies, or it put a curb on their personal spending.)

2. Couples who do not have children show diminished marital quality over time.
(My comment: Gratification always diminishes over time. That's why people always need a little more of whatever they are pursuing. If a person is driven by their own selfish motives, then a decrease in marital quality is inevitable... did we need a scientific study for this?)

3. A recent study of 13,000 people found that parents are more depressed than non-parents. The scientists speculate that this problem is a modern one because parents don't get as much help at home as they did in previous generations.
(My comment: I would bet that this survey was not conducted in Utah. I would also bet that the depression was more a result of coveting the artificial life people see on primetime TV and in fashionable advertisements, and how having children 'deprives' them of the material freedom, than it is about the kids themselves.)

4. Those couples who lived together before marriage had more problems after the birth of a child than did those who lived separately before marriage.
(My comment: This should be the most obvious of all. It's all about pure selfishness and irresponsibility. And to think that some of these badly misled couples believe that having the baby will actually strenghten their selfish-based relationship! Ah, the wisdom of the world!)

5. Couples whose parents fought and divorced had more problems themselves.
(My comment: If kids learned that fighting at home is normal, then that is how they will behave. If they have seen a parent use divorce as a way out of their commitments, then they will likewise be unable to make and keep commitments.)

6. Funny how, at the end of the article, the author offers the moral position as a sort of counterpoint or sidenote: "However, some couples said their relationships were stronger post-birth. They tended to have been married longer or had higher incomes."
(My comment: This must be the minority position wherever this survey was conducted. If the survey took place in Utah, or in Gilbert, Arizona, it wouldn't say 'some couples'. It would say 'many' or 'most'.)

The professor is from the University of Denver. Denver, Colorado is one of the most liberal places in the country outside of California, Chicago and the east coast. If the population sample of the survey was in Colorado, these findings would not be surprising. Survey results indicating selfish, liberal viewpoints would be expected in such a samplng.

Regardless of the quality of the population sample, it is a sad commentary that society no longer finds family life as a popular source of 'happiness'. We have too many advertisements telling young, moldable minds that they 'deserve all the luxuries in life'. Elder Oaks' talk is worth reviewing many times over, so that we can see selfishness and greed for what they are and try to avoid them.

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