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The Nuclear Family – The Core of Humanity - H.O.W.

Updated on January 18, 2014
© Martie Coetser
© Martie Coetser
pakorn @
pakorn @ | Source

Why not rather live like giraffes?

Contemplating the high divorce rate all over the world, we sometimes wonder if there is any sense in the constitution of a nuclear family.

Why not rather live like giraffes?

  • Men and women in separate groups,
  • Women and men in a state of estrus may socialize,
  • Only the gifted may multiply,
  • Children to be kept together in the loving care of surrogate parents who are qualified and able in all ways to raise and educate a future generation.

So much easier to manage than a nuclear family!

So, why stick to the old fairy-tale tradition: Falling in love, become engaged, getting married, having children, and live happily ever after....

Just to realize that reality is a nightmare of another colour.

To live happily ever after demands vision, insight, compassion, empathy, courage, patience, endurance, a sense of forgiveness, logical thoughts and tons of energy beyond the comprehension of young, infatuated couples. 'Happily ever after' so often ends after the honeymoon to become a 'hell on earth' to be continued beyond divorce.

So, WTH, let's live like giraffes!


But wait!

Let's contemplate (again) the true purpose of a nuclear family.....

© Martie Coetser
© Martie Coetser

The Nuclear family

A nuclear family is also known as a conjugal family.

Defined by Wikipedia: “A conjugal family is a nuclear family of adult partners and their children (by birth or adoption) where the family relationship is principally focused inward and ties to extended kin are voluntary and based on emotional bonds, rather than strict duties and obligations.”

In terms of the law, ‘nuclear’ means ‘being legally responsible.’ Whether married or not, a couple is legally responsible for the children they have generated by procreation. Several legal procedures are required to be exempted from responsibility.

In my language (Afrikaans), this family is called a “gesin”, derived from the Dutch word "ghesinne”, which originally meant ‘people traveling in a group”. In Afrikaans we will never send an invitation to ‘Mr. X and family’, because then Mr. X is allowed to bring his entire family – parents, siblings, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, galore. So, in order to cater only for Mr. and Mrs. X and their children still living with them under the same roof, we send the invitation to “Mnr. X en gesin”. Though in English to “Mr. X and family. (Somehow the English people just know the difference between Nuclear- and Extended Family.)

In Afrikaans we will use additional words when we include the couple’s married children, as a nuclear family (gesin) doesn’t include married children, their spouses and their children. Grandchildren, and even married children and their spouses, are, of course, automatically included when they seem to be the responsibility of Mr. and Mrs. X, living in the same house, ‘traveling together’.

When parents are divorced, we refer to the nuclear family as ‘broken’ (gebroke) – like the ‘broken heart’ of a person who has lost their beloved to death or divorce.

digitalart @
digitalart @

What is the true purpose of a Nuclear Family?

According to WordWeb ‘nuclear’ means inter alia ‘like a nucleus’, and a nucleus is that part of a cell that contains DNA and RNA – the substance responsible for growth and reproduction, the kernel containing genetic material.

So obviously the nuclear family is the most vital part of humanity – the nuclear core.

The condition of the human race depends on this core. If something goes wrong with this core the results will obviously be devastating.

Contemplating the condition of humanity, the endless hatred among people, the divorces and killing of humans by humans during private and public wars, we will most certainly find the origin of hatred in the nucleus, just like we would find the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms and viruses in its DNA.

However, we will also find the origin of love in the DNA of a nuclear family.


Love: The only way to save humanity

“Where there is love there is life,” said Mahatma Gandhi. In other words, “Where there is hate there is death." Not only physical death, but the death of hopes, dreams, ambition, and the will to live until one dies a natural death caused by a force beyond our control.

So obviously, if we want to live happily ever after, we should love others as we love ourselves, and obviously the core where love should be developed into a powerful force that will eventually change the current sad/bad condition of humanity, is the nuclear family.

The most elementary way to develop love instead of hate in a nuclear family

“Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love,” said Mother Teresa.

How much will it take for members in a nuclear family to meet each other every day with a smile? Imagine the results! How much will it take for all members of societies to meet each others always with a smile? Imagine the results.

“Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do, but how much love we put in that action.” Mother Teresa

Benefits of a nuclear family

Intensive care and upbringing of a future generation: Only 2 adults – male and female in collaboration - protects, feeds, educates, raises only 1-5 members of a future generation, ensuring the survival of a highly advanced species, the human species.

Love is the most essential substance needed by a child to become a strong and well-balanced adult. The love of parents for their children is the purest, unselfish and unconditional love. This love is called agape – according to Christian theology the love of God for mankind.

Knowing only these 2 benefits of a nuclear family is surely enough for all of us to admit that the NUCLEAR FAMILY is the best constitution and most feasible social order for the human race.

© Martie Coetser
© Martie Coetser

Writer's note

I grew up in a happy nuclear family. For me nuclear families were simply the order of the day. The same with my husband.

Sadly, we both took the constitution of a nuclear family for granted. Under the impression that our vows would keep us together, we were not prepared for the onslaught of trouble that would eventually destroy our bond.

Fortunately we were able to keep our nuclear family 'alive' for almost 20 years.

My biography don't have the fairy-tale ending - '... and they live happily ever after.' It has a tail: "... in separate houses, minding their own business...."

Because I know the benefits of a nuclear family, I will always encourage couples to do everything in their power to keep their nuclear family alive and healthy.

I will forever promote the constitution and proper maintenance of nuclear families.

Some beautiful nuclear families in my world -

The Oliviers (eldest son already married with his own nuclear family) - © Martie Coetser
The Oliviers (eldest son already married with his own nuclear family) - © Martie Coetser
The Diques © Martie Coetser
The Diques © Martie Coetser
Brother Phillip and family © Martie Coetser
Brother Phillip and family © Martie Coetser
Me, my parents and siblings © Martie Coetser
Me, my parents and siblings © Martie Coetser
Pictures of pictures of my own © Martie Coetser
Pictures of pictures of my own © Martie Coetser

Let us cherish and respect the constitution of a nuclear families.

May all couples be blessed with wisdom and all that it takes to make their nuclear family a healthy core of humanity.

© Martie Coetser

© 2014 Martie Coetser


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