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The incredible shrinking world

I read an interesting article the other day. It was about family values. Specifically it was disputing the rhetoric put forth by many groups that Americans values are actively deteriorating when it comes to family life.

In an era when the Ten Commandments, Nativity displays and menorahs are banned in every school or government building, church attendance is on the rise. In the era of Brittney Spears and Gangster Rap, album sales are plummeting and there are far more faith-based cable networks than music stations.

Okay, okay. My head isn’t buried in the sand completely. We live in a world that pummels us with messages that challenge us. What I’m suggesting is that we are living up to the task. Why? Well, my belief is that we owe some of our success to the fact that technology is shrinking our world faster than ever.

People perceived automobiles and airplanes as world shrinking, but that wasn’t true. In fact, those devices expanded our world. As little as 100 years ago, most families never ventured more than a few miles from their birthplace. The automobile became affordable and an industry was created in the air, suddenly children lived along different oceans than their parents. Environment played a larger role than families all too frequently.

In the past decade the world started shrinking. We can send messages instantly and virtually free. The concept of “long distance” telephone calls is virtually extinct. Telephones ring in our pockets, and family photos travel around the world in seconds.

My family is spread over four states from Kentucky to New Jersey. I’m in touch with my brother, sisters and mother at least weekly, far more often than when I was in college in the ‘80s, only an hour’s drive away. My father and I talk almost daily. He began consulting, and traveling extensively, while I was in high school. I am able to communicate with him more frequently today than when we lived in the same home.

The opportunity for families to communicate values is stronger than ever during the past fifty years or so, when Elvis’ pelvis started the destruction of society.

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