When Parenting Fails, Go to the Ants

Parents need somewhere other than government to turn.

Why do poor children die younger, fail to thrive economically, suffer disproportionally from things like obesity and cancer, and beget other poor children? Is it lack of education? Shortage of social programs?

According to Sir Michael Marmot, these demonstrated causes result from an even more fundamental and common cause, poor parenting (“The Disease of Poverty,” Scientific American, March 2016).

His research and that of others trace problems related to individual and social development back to the failure of parents to raise their children in an environment of love, security, affirmation, discipline, and support. OK, but how do we get parents to be more responsible and successful in this matter? Sir Michael recommends more government programming funded by income redistribution – taxes on the wealthy to support programs for poor parents.

Has that worked since the 60s “war on poverty”?

But scientists whose research in areas like this is beginning to catch up to the teaching of Scripture don’t know where else to turn. If the Christian community demonstrated a more successful record in this area, might researchers turn to the Church for help, rather than to government?

An age that believes everything is politics and politics is everything is ripe for being convinced otherwise in a wide range of areas. If only there were someone other than government and science to do the convincing. If only there were sufficient vision among Christian leaders to foster such outcomes.

In another story, Scientific American reports that ants, which have no leaders but exhibit enormous collective wisdom, might provide insights for improving a variety of human social systems (“Collective Wisdom of Ants,” Deborah M. Gordon, February 2016). 

SA recommends that we go to the ant and consider her ways and be wise, to learn how shared need and common interest can generate undirected cooperative social behavior.

Don’t you love it when science catches up with Scripture (Prov. 6.6-8)?

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