How are things going in Cilicia? As you know I have taken a leave of absence from my duties to visit with an American family an decipher what holds them together. While being here I have noticed and documented many differences as well as similarities between American fathers and Roman fathers. The love that is shared between an American father and his children is just as strong as that of the love a Roman father has for his own children. It is just that this love is shown and carried out in two different ways. Upon my arrival here, I first noticed that American male children are more independent of there father’s authority.
Yes the father holds ultimate authority over the child but, because of a certain period of development referred to as adolescence, seems to inhibit the child with the ability to maintain a fairly distant life from father. A life saturated with full frontal images of self preservation and one’s own internal need to gain wealth. This intrigued me very much, because as you know, in Cilicia male children are instructed upon what they will and will not invest their time. Yes, there is a sense of independence, but that independence serves only to let the male know that he is indeed a man who is contributing to society as he should.
In Rome, the male children are more focused on whatever predetermined goal has been set for them, while American male children or as they say, teenagers, are allowed to drift from interest to interest, with no direction, while being chastised for their “lack of ambition” but are supported financially by the same parents who chastise those actions. This is only one of the faults that seem to make up the “wool” that American people collectively as a whole have deliberately pulled down over there eyes.
One of the faults that I find most interesting is the lack of nationalism among the American people. It seems as though nationwide unity is only achieved through the slaughter and mutilation of some third world country who, because of antiquated militaries, can not defend itself from the sheer, overwhelming financial power of America’s government and military. The military here preaches not protection of one’s country from tyrants and other evils, but the conquest of lesser countries in the way of “bringing peace, new government, and civility.
Those who are of color here feel no pride in their country whatsoever. This is due in part to there constant economic, mental, and emotion brainwashing that they must conform to the standards of the majority, the white anglo-saxon protestant. In Rome, there is no need one to conform to the majority, for there is no majority and minority, there is only Rome. The belief that without one’s country one does not exist is definitely not existent here. It is more or less take what you can, keep it, and keep on taking more.
The absence of nationalism in America is evident in the way Americans treat there homeland. They ravage the celestial beauty of nature in order to gain the shiny trinkets that Americans hold so much prominence in. The mountains and many beautiful places in Rome that we would dare not alter in any form would just as well be bulldozed in America without a second thought, all in the name of progressions and technology. Another fault that the American father seems to have let go unquestioned is ultimate amount of power the law has in the fathers options to discipline his child.
In America, the father has no patriarchal right or authority to physically discipline their child. If this were to occur, the child would be separated from family. I find it hard to accept that a father is only given certain authoritative boundaries over children that he has to provide for and protect. In Rome, a father would sooner “break a stick on the backs of recalcitrant youths than allow wrongdoing to go unchallenged. ” (Mufuka 43) In America it seems as if the father stands to only be a record or testament as to the origination of the child and nothing more.
In Roman life, the father is the “center of all life in the family. ” (Mufuka 43) This is also different in America. In America, both parents are allowed to seek out and obtain jobs. The providing and protection of the family is split up between the father and the mother. There is no one leader because the authority of one parent is under minded by the authority of the other parent. In Rome, where the father is the beginning as well as the end to a family, the father is considered to have complete and utmost authority over all that dwell in his household.
This thereby gives the feeling to the rest of the family that there only thoughts should be of there country and there daily duties. This causes there to be a similarity in the ways Romans and Americans rear there children. Just as in Rome the children are not taught by the father, but by the in-house nanny, a tutor, or some other person who has no linkage to the family. As in Rome, during the time the father is away in the military, the children are taught by the mother and slave-servant.
This serves to undermine all of the teachings that have been imprinted in the child’s mind at a young age. The differences between the American father and the Roman father are such things that seem miniscule to the Americans but creates a tremendous rift between each generation and a deepening lack of love for home land. In Rome the ideas and beliefs that we value are love of country, protection and discipline of family; in America the fathers delegate discipline of the children to the mothers while giving them no boundaries from which to follow.