Sunday, 29 May 2011

Too nice

Ugly Betty
There's no shortage of nice people.....there's one born every minute. 
I know many such people. They're nice but unlucky.....many have been born with good looks and a variety of talents. 
Their plight is that ordinary success has evaded them and strange misfortune has befallen them. They're nice people who get taken advantage of.

Despite the possession of brilliant minds and looks to match they are unlucky in love. 
They are unable to form successful partnerships and 2.5 children never materialised into their life space. 
They are saddled with a host of rare challenges that prevent them from following their destinies: a disabled parent/sibling/child whose care falls to them whilst the others who could also share this role follow their hearts.
They are peacemakers amongst their warring families but there's no peace prize for them
They are always there to take responsibility when others are neglectful.
They are derailed on their career paths by well meaning (lucky) people
Ugly is nice!
They are the strong ones who take up the burdens because no one else will.
They have principles and try to live up to them whilst everyone else is trampling over them.
They support another's dream but let their own fall by the wayside
Their kindness is perceived as a weakness.
They respect the rights of others but their own have to be justified.
They are the "ugly Bettys" who don't get a break but are very close to a breakdown.

If you can turn it around then unlucky may get lucky -that's if they're selfish enough. 
Sometimes they succeed and give up the self-sacrificing; sometimes it's become so much a way of life they just can't. 
Bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people - it's a spiritual quandry that I haven't figured out yet. Or is it that they're loaded with karmic debt and are only reaping what they've sown in another lifetime that they can't remember?

SOS - Save our Sharks
I wish them luck in reversing their misfortune or just holding it together.....who am I to judge.....I've been on both sides of the coin!


Thursday, 26 May 2011

"I love you"......dangerous little words

Relationship Red Alert
It's wonderful to be in love but with whom?
Can you be sure that the person you say you love is the true one?
Is love a barter system and, if so, is there value in your exchange?

Why is it that we are bowled over when the man/woman in our life declares love with those three little words.

1. Are we surprised that someone should find us lovable?
2. Are we not loving ourselves and showing our self-love every day?
3. Do we even know how to love ourselves or anyone else for that matter?

The answers in my book are:

Yes (to the first question)
No (to the second) 
 "What the hell....???" to the third.

Yes, we are in a state of shock when someone finds us lovable, adorable and gorgeous.
No, we do not practice self-love - the greatest love of all.
How the hell can we if we don’t know the rules for love?

In order to reach some clarity about love we have to understand what love is not:

Love is not a romantic song sung in dulcet tones to a host of violins and guitars.
Love is not a blue moon or nor do you "feel it in your fingers and your toes"
Love is not a heat seeking missile set to explode when your hormones / libido reach fever pitch
Love is not eating food (that's dripping in oil, salt and sugar) in a dimly-lit restaurant
Love is not gazing at each other and believing each to be perfect;
Love is not sweet nothings (more sweet somethings)

First love?
Love is not sharing the same living space or even the same bed - no sir!
Love  is not a day dream

If you believe love to be any or all of the above then you are in love or chasing love for all the wrong reasons!

Love is making a difference (you remember what that special other brings into your life and what you bring to theirs)
Love is going through a tough times together and appreciating the challenge
Love is being happy apart as much as together
Love is freedom to pursue your unique destiny
Love is daily conscious actions.....with kindness and tenderness
Love is honouring and respecting your self (first) before the other
Love is having time to think and evaluate your relationship
Love is living the dream.....not waiting for it
Love is letting go.....of the c***

As you can see, love is a huge responsibility and that's why so many of us fail at it (including the married  amongst us).
We simply do not have the spiritual stamina to live up to the promise of marriage.
Our minds, bodies, hearts and spirit are just too weak.
We need rigorous training to achieve anything like a marital state of bliss.

Until then, we will limp along....making a lie....pretending it doesn't matter.....being abused....crying ourselves to sleep.....waking up and thinking it's a new day (when it's just the same old day recycled).

Be careful of that "I love you" - you don't know what it truly means until experience shows you and that's painful - ow!


Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Oprah - amazingly gracious

O is for  (extra)ordinary
Oprah Winfrey is a woman for all seasons.  From a humble news reporter she has risen to be one of the most influential and powerful  women of all time (and is also on the world’s rich list).
Oprah is an ordinary hero…..the ones who are born on the wrong side of the tracks and reach great heights. She wasn’t born with a silver spoon in her mouth, she didn’t have the best education, she was in abusive relationships, she’s lived with grinding insecurity and struggled with her weight.
She’s laughed and cried and made us do the same. That’s why every woman (and man) can relate to Oprah. She’s one of us….nothing special but she made something special out of her ordinariness.
Her talk show topics have a covered the spectrum of human foibles and triumphs. She championed the ordinary person who was extraordinarily talented. Film stars and singers she made less remote, even ordinary – just like you and me.
She has done a ton of charity work but the greatest is her empowerment work.
 “Live your best life” has been one of her uplifting slogans and the life coaches she features have all made valuable contributions to the lives of ordinary people (including me).
Live your best life....always
Oprah has shown us how good it is to be ordinary and how we can be more. She’s altered the emotional landscape for millions of people forever.
She is the godmother of the talk show and a global icon. The show may be over but Oprah will go on.


Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Eat, pray and....kick ass!

I’m a firm believer in healthy and holistic living. The old adage “you are what you eat” is quite true.
I’m sure you’ve noticed Big Mac’s, Pepperoni Pizza, Spare ribs and Sausages walking around in their human packaging – not a pretty sight! It’s amazing how the quality and the quantity of food you eat affects your mind as well as the body.  When people complain of fatigue it’s usually as a result of snacking on high sugar stuff and headaches are surely a sign that the little E numbers must be using their little hammers to pound on your head. Perhaps they may eventually knock some sense into it so that you’ll give up the junk food diet.
In times of food distress prayer is useful. It’s the easiest way to avoid actually doing something about your food addiction – “let’s hope and pray that I don’t bump into a Kentucky Fried Chicken on the way home". Only the right-minded understand the meaning of prayer. Some people think that they are praying to God – wrong – God doesn’t need prayers…God needs us to  take action…that’s real prayer. Prayer is often misused as a psychological crutch…..”I’ve spent the last 10 minutes praying about it so I can sit and wait…”
Pray....with gusto
God is not a great vending machine in the sky and prayer is not be used as small change. Prayer is something you do when you’ve exhausted every resource. The main resource being our grey matter and – let’s be truthful – that is the most under-used organ in the human body. Don’t let me put you off prayer but remember God helps those who help themselves.
When prayers are not heartfelt it’s better to consider another course of action. A swift kick up the backside is a least tried but perhaps effective method. Yes, there’s nothing like a pain (especially in the ass) to get us moving. If it’s delivered with the right intention then it will surely have achieved its aim. One of the benefits is that you won’t be sitting on your ass long enough to be doing nothing….this ass kick could take weeks to heal!
Kicking ass makes us face our fears or even grab them by the neck and conquer them. God is not above some butt kicking when he confronts human mismanagement of Mother Earth. Twisters, hurricanes, tsunamis are God in kick-ass mode. Bible stories are rife with fires, famines, plagues and wars – God doesn’t eat or pray but he sure knows how to take corrective action with a vengeance! When enough is enough the proverbial kick in the butt never fails.


" I have the right to exist"

I have the right to exist - oh yeah!
In these days of exams, assessments, targets, objectives, appraisals and reviews it’s easy to believe that unless we jump through the educational and corporate hoops we’re going to get nowhere in life. The world we have created certainly has no patience for under-performers and anything left over for the high enders has to be fought over.
The ordeals and tests that we are subjected in the name of progress can send us into a frenzy, if not a nervous breakdown. In the past, I have been guilty of placing undue pressure on myself and my loved ones to succeed.  In fact, this week as my second son sits for his GCSE exams I am reminded of how young and tender he is.  It’s easy to forget just how fragile teenage emotions are. I also remembered to tell him that although exams are a necessary evil they are not a reflection of his self-worth. I love my children unconditionally and no worldly success or failure can change that.
By the same token, failure or success does in no way detract from a person’s right to exist. True success is to focus your mental energies on working to your strengths and when that happens….you’ll find yourself doing what you love…and making money at it. The only thing we truly need more of is self-belief, not money. The very first belief that’s vital to cultivate is that you have the right to exist.
During a motivational class the instructor asked each of the participants to stand up in front of the group and say: “I have the right to exist”. Many found it intimidating and clammed up with embarrassment.  The ones who did come forward spoke in a timid voice.  These were a cross section of people of different ages, ethnic groups, professionals and non-professionals. This experiment revealed that our education is not holistic, it is results based.
"The lillies of the field neither spin nor toil or pay a mortgage"
Teachers teach for exams not for the love of teaching or imparting the joy of learning. This creates a culture that allows politicians and the media to sell us fear…..the greatest fear being that we’re not good enough…unless we have….. a partner, children, a mortgage,  energy-efficient home, insurance, car, phones, laptops, blackberry, latest fashions, whitened teeth, coiffed hair, landscaped garden…..we are missing out. We internalise the message that we are not valuable and we start to behave in abusive ways. We eat and drink too much, we boast and compete, we try to make others feel as bad as we do – in short- we sell our souls and become everything that we detest in others.
River of life
Regardless of any trappings of fame and fortune you are worthy and have the right to exist.  “I have the right to exist” – say it loud, say it clear. Practice saying it in the mirror every morning and then go and find your heart’s calling. You were born with a purpose and, if you live on purpose, the perfect job you seek will find you. Don’t fret over this and engage in struggle – don’t push the river – it flows just right without any effort and so do you.


Thursday, 19 May 2011

Alone but not lonely

The 25 year itch

The itch it seems will never be eased. In the days of 50's glamour when the world was a more innocent place Marilyn Monroe romped with a married man in "The Seven Year Itch". The suggestion at the time was that holy wedlock would be tested after 7 years when either the husband or wife would face temptation and be led astray.

Today that seems like utter nonsense, after 7 years of marriages, couples have not begun to even know each other and a great many put on such a pretence of happiness that their loved ones claim that they're still on honeymoon! 

The announcement of the separation of Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarznegger, after 25 years of marriage, is a sign of the times. A long standing marriage is built on many a false foundation. Maria Shriver is a woman who has suffered for her of them being her oh-so-solid marriage to one of the biggest movie stars in the business. She claims that her strong, Catholic beliefs prevented her ending the marriage before. It's a shame that her Catholic beliefs did not include honesty. 

Marriage is a dream. None of us understand this until one day we discover that in pursuit of the unattainable we were living a lie. Maria Shriver no doubt dreamed the dream and lived the lie. Good, Catholic girls are brought up to do so. Marriage is a sacrament we are told and "what God has joined together let no man put asunder".

Often, only one person in the marriage will honour the vows the other will just put on a good show.
Man eating Marilyn
I see pain etched in Maria Shriver's face because her dream has had a very public death. She is a strong woman who was brought down by a philandering husband. 

Nowadays, 25 years of marriage marks a watershed. It's not a cause for celebration since so many couples find themselves at loggerheads. Empty nests mean that they have more time together but they have little to share. Many spouses dread having to be home alone with their other halves. Husbands become morose as their role as provider is diminished. Once the children have flown, wives lose their sense of purpose and spiral into depression. The mid-life crisis hits both parties hard. 

The mistake is that we believe that the marriage is greater than the two people in it. Post 25 years, the two that became one have now become one plus one. It's a greater task to unify these two entities if they have grown in different directions and sometimes not at all. Immaturity will kill off a union as much as infidelity.

Separate beds may help
However you choose to relieve the itch make sure that you do it with dignity and love. 


Monday, 16 May 2011

Love and other drugs

Love pills
Love makes the world go around….as do many other intoxicants as any tripping Ecstasy user will tell you. Drugs are said to have a powerful effect on the psyche and love is no exception. LSD, Heroin and Crack cocaine provide a brief hallucinatory respite from the daily grind and love is also used for escapist purposes.
Each year on Valentines Day sales of cards, flowers and love trinkets experience a boost as all thoughts turn to love. We speak of romantic love and the euphoria it brings. Lovers holding hands and kissing in the moonlight will make even the hardened realist a little mushy inside.
Love has no less side effects than other stimulants. Any lover will tell you that when it ends you are plunged into the depths of despair. The joy you experienced evaporates and what was beautiful then is unbeautiful now. The problem with love is that it does mean the same thing to both people. Sometimes love is being together sometimes it is being apart. If you can find the fine balance love may never leave.
A heart full of......?
Usually love  plants its roots in good soil so it thrives. Sometimes the weeds in your heart can choke love and hold it to ransom.  Once a good love takes hold your soul realises that this is the one. Your head will put forward a case that "the one" doesn't exist but your heart will overrule him. Once you're smitten you have to wait and see if love grows into a beautiful garden, a tub or window box.
As a true romantic, I can state without reservation, that love is the best medicine. A little love in your life can make your eyes shine and your heart glow. There is no better blood cleansing agent than the look of love. Its a lightness in the soul that makes you weak and powerful all at the same time.
Naturally love takes many forms and the object of your particular desire may not be flesh and blood. It may be a book, a painting, rays of sunshine or a blanket of glistening snow that sets your heart aflutter. In fact, the soul is refreshed by any of these things.
I look at love whenever I look in the mirror and that’s what I recommend for you. To gaze inwards and outwards at the beloved is the greatest therapy of all.


Stressful barrier method

Raw deal for the body
In the challenge to find new and effective forms of contraception I have stumbled across one that will no doubt cause the birth rate to fall in the brave, new century. 

I am reliably informed by a friend that her daughters regularly go to bed with their laptops.  Another person has advised me that his son is “married” to the computer and the only “woman” worth staring at is one on a screen. Well, that’s a blow to hot flesh and red blood but the opposite sex seem only to be attractive in high definition and 50k megapixels. 
Love in the 21st century
I’m old-fashioned I guess but I still believe that pro-creation is a thing of privacy between two consenting  adults. People of science might say it involves sperm and an egg meeting in a testube –  that’s romance in the 21st century! 

 Yes, it’s definitely all change and Microsoft may just be responsible for a new method of contraception.
Its well documented that desktops, laptops, blackberrys, i/pads/pods, televisions and mobile phones all emit radiation according to the size and power of the gadget. In the technological jungle of daily living we swing  through any or all of these appliances. Many of us simply can’t function without them and anyone under 30 can't recall an electro-magnetic stress free world. 

Thankfully, I do and sometimes find myself nostalgic about times when people just didn’t want to “update their status” to 536 friends online and used pen and paper to keep in touch. Telephone calls and television schedules never interrupted family mealtimes. Now we consider ourselves lucky if we see and talk to our children rather than share a meal with them.
Children of the future
Oh dear….so this is progress and leads me onto the point of my blog style rant. I am the generation of parents who will be privileged to have grandchildren. This will not be for want of my children seeking to get in touch with their procreative parts but for the fact that these parts may not be in good working order.

Exposing your vitals to radiation is hardly the best way of keeping them in a pristine condition. Sleeping with your laptop (usually switched on) is like sleeping with the enemy of your endocrine system. There’s no telling what chemical havoc is being wreaked by this electromagnetic exposure. Testosterone that produces sperm and oestrogen that is responsible for the successful fertilisation of the egg may be compromised and will render natural conception impossible.
Infertility is a real concern for the next generation. IVF will address some of these issues but all the fun will be removed. Anyone who has undergone an IVF programme will tell you that it is an arduous process. 

Electromagnetic prison
The causes of infertility points towards the not so humble laptop. If young people are eating and sleeping with them their innards must be paying the price. I hope this will serve as a warning (especially to my children) that nothing clutters up the mind and body as the unhealthy sharings of “friends” on Facebook and other social networking sites.
My advice:  ditch the pods, bazooka the blackberry , unplug the laptop and take time to feel the sunshine and smell the roses. Keep your senses alive and treat your body with respect without the dull, whirr of electricity.


Tuesday, 10 May 2011


Be one of the light minded
Awareness is a reality check -  the first step towards enlightenment and how disturbing  that is. Becoming aware means putting yourself and the world under scrutiny.  After all, awareness is concentrated thought which involves the usage of a 100% of our grey matter.  This makes us painfully aware of the lack or need for greater spiritual progress.
In the 21st century, people have heightened awareness in part due to the high information diet that we feed on daily. Social structures are more fluid and therefore boundaries not easily discerned. The breakdown of a society usually provides the impetus to create it anew and that is often as a result of awareness.  The dichotomies of relationship are exposed in the light of refreshed awareness.
Awareness forces us to be analytical about our beliefs and behaviour and often we have to engage in a process of unlearning in order to move forward. The values of our parents and our ancestors no longer have the same relevance.  Becoming aware is to question deeply and to seek answers that may shake our very foundations.  Just as God asked Samson to use his super-human strength to destroy the temple so must we eradicate the attitudes that no longer serve us. Most of our thinking is second-hand; we are passive processors of information from the media and the authority figures around us. Unadulterated thinking begets awareness and this is rare.
It’s not easy to disable the support systems that lead to enhanced thinking. We reject awareness since it is unknown territory and many of us are not adventurous enough to embark on such a quest.
I think, therefore I am
When we decide the throw off the yoke of consumerism and hype then there is a chance for enlightenment…..until then….let’s be aware that we wear the mask of ignorance  and that wisdom comes gently.


Monday, 9 May 2011


Flight to freedom
A birth is always a cause for celebration. Birth symbolises life and a new soul. The day of your birth is so important that we continue to commemorate it year after year until our demise.  If only we truly understood that our day of departure from this life – our death day – should also be a jubilant celebration. After all it is the day when we enter into the life of spirit and mingle with the celestial bodies that are waiting for us on the other side.
Our deathday is hidden amongst the 52 weeks and 12 months of our calendar days. Each year we pass it and have no clue as to its significance.  That’s why it’s important to value each day as a fresh start. Death is the fresh start we seek when our bodies and minds have become tired and worn.
 For some of us, life has meant that we’ve been going around in cricles…doing the same things and expecting different results each time. On earth we have struggled with change, not faced our fears, been too nice, not had enough self-respect , endured a whole, heap of abuse by allowing others to trample over our dreams. Oh yes – this earthly school has had a long initiation process and felt like a long, winding road with bandits at every corner. So when we finally get to graduate (at death) we’re terrified!

Sunset of our life

The discomfort we associate with death Is mostly to do with our loss of innocence. We’re no longer the soft, cute, bouncing bundles in our birthday suits! At the final curtain call, our birthday suits are in a state of disrepair, in need of pressing and with teeth, hair and brain cells missing – a sorry sight indeed.  It’s reassuring that our bodies will have no place in the world of spirit – thank God – only our minds shall prevail and boy…do those need some renovation?!
It’s no secret when we observe the world around us that we have neglected the precious resource of our mind. Mental pollution is at a dangerous level and it’s not easy to dump the accumulated toxins. During our lives we certainly experience the consequences of the mental and emotional neglect – we are less compassionate and more judgemental. 

We have built beautiful homes to house our bodies and those of our loved ones but we have not managed to create a home in their hearts. Through technology we have achieved the ability to communicate with anyone in any part of the world but we have no time to listen to our heart’s calling.
On our death day we are going home; the home that we have sought all our lives – a place of true comfort and safety. No one can hurt us there and it will be a place of revelation. We’ll finally understand where we went wrong and those of us who are believers in reincarnation may be able to return….. not to repeat all the bad karma but to improve it.
Life is everlasting through birthdays and deathdays and it’s unmissable!


Sunday, 8 May 2011

Anyone for seconds?

It appears so. Being as optimistic and as gulliable as we are we believe in the glory of marriage second, third and even fourth time around. In our search for the perfect match we become serial brides and bridegrooms.
Why is it that we believe in the relationship that is the cause of so much man-made misery?

Does a second marriage succeed where the first could not?
Does a new partner offer something intrinsically unique?
No, not in the least!

A second marriage is not a cure for a failed first. Male/female relations within an intimate relationship remain the same - negative factors such as power struggles and ego issues are no less fought over in a new marriage.

 There are people who marry for the second time only to find it's a terrible mistake and that they were  better suited to Partner no. 1. Oscar Wilde famously said that : "a man marries for the second time because he's in love with his first wife." This has a ring of truth since it is Wife No. 1 who's had the benefit of learning about all your weakness which has endeared her to you in retrospect.

Second marriages are a risk (as was the first); perhaps a greater risk. It is chasing the rainbow only to find that at the end of it the pot of gold is tarnished. A second marriage is already loaded with emotional baggage and  dysfunctional from the start.

Since humankind is greedy we do seek more and more helpings of matrimony. There is no restraint in our pursuit of the perfect relationship. Dating websites are awash with lonely hearts wanting to be less alone.
"Do this all over again? Are you quackers?"
Those of us already entwined in holy wedlock long for more alone time.

Two is double trouble. We are not adept problem solvers so we can't afford to play with fire.
As for me....seconds? No way and no thanks!


Wednesday, 4 May 2011

A man is not a financial plan

Damsel no longer in distress

Women are natural entrepreneurs....if only they knew it! Marriage and motherhood certainly make them rise to the challenge of becoming more creative with money, time and energy.
However, women have been conditioned to think of themselves as inferior when it comes to being smart with their money.

Women have been budgeting for years. They usually manage to make ends meet to enjoy the simplicities as well as a few luxuries. We live in the age of opportunity. Our foremothers endured hardship and indignations to get us where we are today. Think of the suffragettes who chained themselves up until women were given the vote. Think of the innnovations of the industrial age that have removed the drudgery of housekeeping. There is true equality when we realise that a man can load (and empty) the dishwasher as well as we can!

Sadly, many women are still in the dark about their progress. Women still see a man as their financial crutch and what disappointment they set themselves up for. I was once such a woman who thought two incomes are better then one....not so! Having a husband/partner/sperm donor resulted in the accumalation of debts and dubious investments. Unbeknown to me, my life partner put me on financial death row - naievete costs! 

Rotten eggs?
Love is many splendoured thing and money was squandered on bling. Hubby thought he had me fooled since he saw himself as a financial plan - the little woman has no idea about numbers so I'll take care of it! Not surprisingly, many husbands wax lyrical about personal finance when the truth is that they are clueless. Their inflated egos make up for their lack of knowledge.

Women are not entirely blameless since they do not value themselves as the financial guru they are.
They rely on a man to control and dictate the family budget. In fact, some may confess to actually marrying for money and I have no problem with the truth....just the half truths!
Women who do so understand soon enough that they live in a gilded cage and they are robbed of their power. Decisions are made for them and not all of them good.

My advice is to aim for independence - financial independence. You may share your partner's good fortune but never take it for granted - the rug can be pulled out from under your feet anytime. 

A woman of substance buys her own house, car and jewellery.
A man's income may be great but his spirit of generosity quite poor. A man may accessorise your life but he must not take over. There's definitely no room for his ego in your wardrobe!


OBL....a testosterone licence to kill

The media interest in the recent capture and death of the infamous leader of Al-Quaeda leaves me wondering. I've written already about "the education of men" that manifests in the arms race, wars and acts of aggression. Men  just can't walk away from a fight or solve a problem by peaceful means. Of course sometimes it's necessary to go to war in order to keep the peace but it is still a negative option.

OBL was a man and the South East Asian sub-continent is populated by men since new born girls are mostly considered a burden and disposed of. Indian orphanages are full of girls..all of them unloved and unwanted except by the few benevolent souls that care for them.

Care and compassion have never been on top of the priority list for the leaders in our midst. Boardrooms as much as bedrooms are infected with so much testosterone that it is getting in the way of emotional intelligence. The  men who are in touch with their feelings are branded as homosexuals.
Kung-Fu fighting
I am not a hater of men; there are uses for them.  However the thrill of the chase and the eventual slaughter of the target (be it human or animal) leaves me with a sense of repugnance. CNN and many news networks are corporations of men. They dissect every last unpleasant detail of war and terror and filter the images into our homes.

The world is agog but it's a turn off for me.  Since I divorced the news junkie ex-husband I rarely watch bulletins. They fill me wth despair and I'm a happy soul. I refuse to be sucked into the melee of dirty politics and scare- mongering. We are being force fed a cultural diet of fear. I'm now a news anorexic and better for it.

OBL faces judgement day but I do not judge him. Terrorists do not work unaided....they have accomplices. One death will not make the world a safer place. As long as the people in power are men then the rivers of blood will never run dry.


Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Broken Families

Every family is some way. This is due to the dysfunctional nature of the human race.
No one's perfect therefore no one escapes some kind of emotional / psychological damage during their lifetime. It's a myth that there exists an "unbroken" family.

Governments love to report statistics; the latest one being that 1 in 5 families in the UK are broken ones.
Apparently the Asian sub-continent has the highest rate of "success" for unbroken families.....I beg to differ....two parents that choose to stay together is no testimony to the strength of the family bond. And I should know - my parents are still together (unhappily wed) for 48 years!

It's unfair to make comparisons between the developed and undeveloped worlds. Families in poorer socieites usually stay together through a lack of choice and opportunity. Abuse and exploitation is rife and, bereft of social welfare, families must indeed stick together.

Families in the developed world are no doubt spiritually poorer as the acquisition of material comforts deals a blow to family unity. However, living democratically means that you don't have to suffer in silence and you are free to express your dissension. This is not the case in many parts of the world where freedom of speech carries with it the threat of ostracism or worse.

I believe in the power of family - a place of warmth and safety....too often it is not. The painful memory of emotional neglect / physical abuse that family members endure can remain with them for a lifetime.
Mental scars heal less easily. Cruel words uttered in rage resonate within and ravage many a soft heart.
Abusive behaviour is repeated from one generation to another.

Move over darling!
Let every family that it can be re-made. Families (particularly parents) require support and guidance not condemnation and statistics. One parent is as good as two. We need to refresh and revive the family with love and understanding and forget the biology!