We are family (are we?)

Richard Shumack ponders how viewing society as a family that thrives on love can help combat the rise of division and toxic disagreements.

I’m feeling overwhelmed. Every news feed tells me society is horribly broken.

Confusingly, every loud commentator seems to agree it’s broken, but disagree (also loudly) about how, and why, and who is to blame.

I’m variously informed that the baddies (or the goodies) are the privileged whites, the cultural Marxists, the cultural elites, the lawless anarchists, the leftist (or rightist) fascists, the exploitative rich, the lazy poor, the heteronormalising cisgendered, or the diversity maximalists. I’m assured, or warned off, the correct lens to view all this as being critical theory, intersectionality, DesOps, classical liberalism, or Jordan Petersonian psychological/moral realism.

In complex times I find football often brings clarity. It’s come through for me again. Klein Oak high school football coach, Jason Glenn, exhorted his multi-racial team this way:

“Your skin colour, your race, your religion, that’s not going to divide us. We are not going to let society tell us who to hate … We’re family. I want to be part of the solution of making everyone come together. It starts with loving everyone. That’s part of making a great young man.”

Society is complex, it witnesses many sins and sinners, many lenses are needed to interpret it. But if I was forced to choose a simple lens to view the current turmoil through, Glenn’s is it. Society is best viewed as family, its systems are best viewed as family systems, and families fundamentally thrive on love. For, as the Good Book promises: “love covers a multitude of sins”.