Don Cobb
The Miracle: Part 2 -- The state of our nation
By Don Cobb
March 10, 2009

Many parents, it seems, simply no longer have time to devote to really discerning who each child really is, how sensitive or overly sensitive they might be emotionally, what talents they might have which could — and should — be nurtured, what needs and/or challenges they have for closeness or intimacy which may not be being met on a given day. Our own careers, our want for recreation (drinking with friends — call it "a barbecue" or "visiting" or whatever you want, when alcohol is always involved, it's really about medicating with friends), and our own self-centeredness robs us of important time and energy which might have been devoted to learning more about who our children actually are, and what their actual needs might be, so that that our children could grow into healthy adults and the multi-generational cycle of abuse and neglect might be broken.

I see the results of unhealthy upbringings every day where I work. Sweet and wonderful men who didn't have the benefit of having had parents who truly took an interest in who their child was because they were too busy trying to get their own still unidentified needs met, who didn't really care so much about what their child's individual needs or sensitivities might be — who their child really is — but really just wanted their child not to be a pain in their behind and did their best to force their child to be obedient, to control their child, and to get their kids to submit to their (parents') will. Children were perceived largely, if you will, as problems much of the time, not as sensitive little Human Beings who might be acting out because they had needs which weren't being identified or met.

The reason I'm spending so much time on this before I get into the details of The Miracle is simple. As I've worked with others over the past 20 years, helping them to identify their own brokenness and find healing after lifetimes of unmet and even previously unidentified needs, God has shown me some surprising and startling — disturbing, even — things along the way. (a) That it isn't just drug addicts, alcoholics, sex addicts or sex offenders who display obvious symptoms of childhood abuse and neglect. (b) I see evidence of the same symptoms in stores, on the roadway, in public schools and virtually everywhere I look.

I'm not saying everyone has suffered from generational abuse or neglect or hasn't had their needs met growing up, but I am suggesting that this description describes, in my observation, the vast majority of us. Healthy child rearing is the exception in America. To one degree or another, virtually all of us have grown up without the benefit of healthy parents raised by healthy parents. Do you understand what I just said? Alcoholism, control issues, egos, inferiority complexes, drug addiction, anger issues, power struggles, superiority complexes, fear, general dysfunction which comes from generations of unhealthy childhoods and the struggle to keep up with the Jones's at all costs — all were present in the homes we grew up in, collectively speaking, and our parents were as oblivious to it all as we've been. Sadly, it's the children who pick up the tab for this dysfunction, who then grow into dysfunctional adults, who in turn raise more dysfunctional children. If you ever wondered why the divorce rate is so high in America, it's because Americans don't value principled living anymore...again, collectively speaking.

Whether adult or child, the demand for attention is evidence of self-centeredness and reveals an individual who didn't get enough or the right kinds of attention early on. Look at the public school playgrounds, particularly middle schools and high schools. Children are collectively crying out for attention like never before, acting out in unhealthy ways like no generation before them. They are so hungry for real love, emotionally needy and so lacking for truth that they'll believe practically anything that is told to them which appeals to their own self-centeredness. This generation in schools today is experiencing the results of ongoing generational abuse and neglect exacerbated by Mom being driven out of the home by political correctness 40 years ago. The desire to have a career and keep up with the Jones' took priority over "Who is going to raise our children?", leaving children (a) to be raised primarily by daycare workers who typically do not love them, and (b) with parents who were raised by their own parents who believed that fear was a good tool which was utilized liberally in order to try to control their own children.

Then look at the groups of adults who demand our attention most. Who comes to mind? The incessant demands for attention are caused by the same issues: lack of real and intimate connection with parent(s) growing up, needs not met, dictatorship parenting styles, abuse, neglect and abandonment (emotional or physical — i.e. dads not in the home) including emotional disconnect with parents who are still in the home, but who are emotionally unavailable to their spouses and children.

I'm sure no one wants to believe I'm referring to them. If you live in America, however, the odds are good that I am referring to you. The odds are great, in fact. The only reason Liberalism has been allowed to drive our nation toward Socialism is because Americans don't value principled living anymore, collectively speaking. The worship of Self is due to the lack of healthy relationships in our homes. Read it and weep if you must, but it's true. Dysfunctional adults are teaching our children in public schools, many of whom have abandoned God out of their love of Self. Our children are being taught to be codependent like the teachers, to revere sexual dysfunction and pretend it's normal, to mock and ridicule or at least ignore God in favor of pretending Evolution is proven science, which it's not. While all of this is going on, where are we, the parents? Having been raised on the same dysfunctional crap, we're home watching American Idol hoping our children will just leave us alone tonight.

Our posterity has been hijacked, and we, like Patty Hearst, have now joined the hijackers and aid and abet them in their sickness. America is only going to get worse until Americans decide that humility and self-control, and rigorous honesty and love and acceptance and faith — all of the Spiritual principles we've abandoned — are valuable again.

THE MIRACLE: Let's get started with what we can do about this state of generational dysfunction. If you've been reading with me so far, the pump ought to be primed by now, so let's start with Humility — next...

© Don Cobb


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Don Cobb

Don Cobb, RAS is an addiction recovery professional and serves as Executive Director for North Bay Recovery Services in Sonoma County, CA. Don recently published a book entitled 12 Steps: NOT For Dummies... (more)


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