The most disturbing thing to me about the election just passed is that during the campaign and the run up to the election nothing was mentioned–not even a murmur–about the most costly and devastating social issue of our time. Everyone was too busy slinging dirt at the ‘other guy’ trying to discredit them or to scare folks into voting for them because they aren’t near as bad as ‘she is’ or ‘he is’. What a waste of time and a colossal waste of money. Of course the main focus was the gas plant mess and the Ornge mess and the other messes but when the yearly totals are calculated with regards to the amount of money that fatherlessness rings up and the costs connected to absent fathers like mental health care, legal issues, judicial issues, increased violence and property damages, fire prevention services, police services and social services the money spent on the ‘messes’ is chump change. I’m not saying that we should not be concerned about what happened there–certainly we should but let’s put it into perspective here and stop whining about spilled milk. We can do something about a much larger and more costly situation and we can begin to affect changes any time we decide to by simply accepting the things we can’t change or get back. It’s done. We don’t have to like it but that’s it.
The other point to be made is that the political screw ups were a one time thing where the fatherlessness issues occur and re-occur every year. It is not just a few billion dollars once but rather a few billion every year until we get smart and do something about the most serious issue we face today. If we could create real and lasting changes regarding the issues that lead to fatherlessness, those that keep fathers from being involved with their homes and families or providing programs and assistance that would encourage fathers to remain in regular contact with their families–their sons in particular–we could cut the amount of money we spend on the social services mentioned to half of what we currently spend and still be dramatically ahead of the dollars spent on the ‘messes’. We could do it without eliminating a thing–not one program and not one increase in taxes–nada. As a matter of fact we could probably afford to add programs of quality and value instead of what passes for what we are doing now. Remember our society is getting older faster than it is getting younger. What services would you like to see that aren’t there now? The stumbling block(s), as I have come to see and understand it, is that politicians only think in terms of what can happen now and how they can look good to the public in four year intervals. That’s about the normal length of time between elections. Prevention is a concept that does not ferment in a politicians mind because it takes longer to produce dividends but, certainly, prevention is the best way to go and shows the best return on money spent–no doubt.
The research has been done. It is there by the boatload for those who are truly interested in making a change happen. Google ‘fatherless children in Canada’ and you will get a load of research–creditable research that explains the importance of having a father in the home or at least one who is in constant contact with his family especially his son(s). (I’ll put a couple of sites at the bottom of this article to help you get started.) It seems that sons who are fatherless are many times more likely to be involved with the services mentioned above so that is why I refer to ‘sons’ more often than daughters. I’ve had the privilege of being a parent to both a son and a daughter as a single parent so it is not because I like one more than the other.
Believe me when I say the sooner we get our priorities straight the faster those terrible ‘messes’ will be lost in our collective rear view mirror. If money is the issue we’ll save a ton of it by not utilizing the social services currently in place near as often.
Here is some of the research I spoke about:
The sooner we taxpayers start telling our government what we want the sooner we will be able to get back in the black. Let’s tell each representative we think that fatherlessness and strengthening family connections is the most important issue to deal with. It isn’t sexy and it isn’t something that will command a great deal of attention but it will translate into the largest single cash back program that we will ever see. So. We need to quit our whining and start demanding a change in program direction and priority.
That’s how I see it, anyways
All the best and if you know of someone who might like this article please send it along to them–Jim