Friday, July 4, 2014

Feed the Bears

Recently I read the transcript of a speech that was given by Anthony Daniels, a doctor and psychiatrist from Birmingham, England. He shared some of the experiences he has had making house calls to the homes of his patients.

"I should mention a rather startling fact: By the time they are 15 or 16, twice as many children in Britain have a television as have a biological father living at home. The child may be father to the man, but the television is father to the child. Few homes were without televisions with screens as large as a cinema- sometimes more than one- and they were never turned off, so that I often felt I was examining someone in a cinema rather than in a house. But what was curious was that these homes often had no means of cooking a meal, or any evidence of a meal ever having been cooked beyond the use of a microwave, and no place at which a meal could have been eaten in a family fashion. The pattern of eating in such households was a kind of foraging in the refrigerator, as and when the mood took, with the food to be consumed sitting in front of one of the giant television screens. Surveys have shown that a fifth of British children do not eat a meal more than once a week with another member of their household, and many homes do not have a dining table. Needless to say, this pattern is concentrated in the lower arches of society, where so elementary but fundamental a means of socialization is now unknown."

This sad commentary reminded me of some advice I received as a young mother: "When your children are grumpy and out of sorts they are probably hungry. Feed the bears and you will have a happy home." I have learned over the years that there is a lot of wisdom in that advice.

"Nothing rights the world more than a meal lovingly prepared and served by a mother."

It isn't easy to put food on the table every evening for our families but it is worth it. Good luck in feeding your hungry bears!

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