TED, Teddy Bears, and the American Family

I have become a fan of the these short informational videos by TED and subscribe to the daily TED offerings. This one is about the story of how the teddy bear became an iconic child’s toy in America and how the ethos behind the story reflects changing cultural notions about conservation. The section on the toy manufacturers’ effort to promote a Billy Possum in the presidential administration after Theodore Roosevelt’s is hilarious!

I have been reflecting this week on the disastrous cultural status of the American family…..Charles Stanley and Lori Little have partnered with a new Bible study and ministry directed at helping single mothers, which is now the largest family structure in our nation…..Many of these women are drowning in the overwhelming responsibility of raising children alone, battling with ex-husbands/significant others/biological fathers, struggling with schedules, finances, jobs demands, children’s reactions to broken relationships, shamed or surrendered to the reality of government dependency, and more. Children are suffering in this dynamic. A child with a non-biological male in the household (mom’s boyfriends, which can be many over the course of a child’s growing-up years) are at 10X greater risk for sexual and physical abuse.

The innocence of childhood, traditional family life, marriage as a monogamous lifelong commitment……these are endangered species in our culture today, too. Are our attitudes toward conservation of the family changing? They must. What iconic “toy” or symbol can come to the rescue of a traditional family lifestyle?