On a podcast to which I recently listened, a popular host confessed that, now in her forties, she is questioning whether the way she conducted herself in her twenties was wise. Yet, when she was in her twenties, she had no doubts whatsoever that she was behaving in the best possible manner and that she and her peers were undoubtedly brilliant for believing in the trends that enveloped them.
That admission could come from anyone who looks back at twenty years in the rear view mirror. I have no doubt that at sixty, most of us observe ourselves twenty years earlier and similarly recognize mistakes we made based on what we were sure was correct. If one is fortunate enough to live a long life with all one’s faculties intact, this reassessment can and probably should recur.
That ability to grow is a blessing. It would be difficult indeed to live with someone who can’t admit to past mistakes. The dilemma comes when we talk not of a personal decision (I should have married Tom; my Masters degree was a waste of time and money; I wish I had gone for help in controlling my temper much earlier), but of decisions that now are embedded in the culture, ensnaring young people today who don’t even realize that what they are doing was controversial a few decades back.
Only rarely and with great difficulty, do we occasionally roll back wrong rulings such as Roe v. Wade. Much harder still is rolling back the ideas that accompanied its passage and which devalue sex, marriage, motherhood and fatherhood. Abortion laws will now be debated, probably fiercely, in many states. I think that those of us who believe in the sanctity of life can make a mistake focusing on the difference between four seconds and four weeks. I think our efforts would be better spent on softening hearts to once again recognize the beauty of the maternal instinct, in raising men who value the enormous trust placed in them by a pregnant wife, and in resurrecting belief in the irreplaceable importance of a good marriage.
The widespread availability of abortion was a vital piece of the sexual revolution. That revolution has run amok, sowing great unhappiness. I greatly value those who relentlessly worked to undo the Supreme Court’s unjust and myopic 1973 decision. One of its great fallacies was trying to impose morality under the guise of the Constitution. Morality needs to stem from choice. Now that the legislation has been recognized as flawed, the minds and hearts of individuals remain to be won.
What do you think? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this Susan’s Musings post.
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