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What is the role of the family in building a just society? (#1 of 12)


The family has existed as long as humanity has existed. The composition of the family has changed and evolved in time and place, adapting to ecological and economic conditions and society around it. However, the family has always been the cornerstone and building block of society. Like the world as a whole, the family is in transition. Families are fragmenting under pressure of economic and political upheavals and weakening in the face of moral and spiritual confusion.

Besides being defined by biological and legal relationships; the family is also the place where private and public spheres intersect. It is within the family that children first learn about values and belief systems passed on to them by the adults in their lives. Here it is also that they develop an understanding of the links between personal identity and social roles, individuals and society, home and nation. Whatever is happening in the family, is influencing society. We can see how the conditions in a nation impact the family and vice versa.


The question I’d like to explore is: with the crises we see in the world and the need for the emergence of a society based on fundamental principles of justice, equity, and equality, what is the role of the family in this transformation? Should the home not be simultaneously transformed as we work towards transforming society?


The following statement from the Universal House of Justice speaks about the idea that humanity has outgrown certain practices, attitudes and habits that need to change with humanity reaching the next stage in its development.


"...humankind as a whole is in the midst of an unprecedented transition. Behind so much of the turbulence and commotion of contemporary life are the fits and starts of a humanity struggling to come of age. Widely accepted practices and conventions, cherished attitudes and habits, are one by one being rendered obsolete, as the imperatives of maturity begin to assert themselves."


As the most basic unit of society, what is the role of the family in bringing about societal change? What are some of the attitudes, practices and habits that pertain to the family that need to transform?


What do we keep, what do we do away with and what new attitudes and habits do we need to form?

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