The Law of Honoring Thy Parents
It seems to me that this, which I spotted in the no-longer-available-to-print-subscribers-online National Review “The Week” feature in the February 21 issue, likely misses most of the good things that an expectation of respect for one’s parents can inculcate in a society:
Oldsters in today’s China too often go neglected by their busy, ambitious children. … China now has the world’s third-highest elderly-suicide rate. What to do? Pass a law! The nation’s Civil Affairs Ministry is pushing legislation that will require adult children to visit their elderly parents regularly. Unvisited parents will have a right to sue the kids.
Where the culture is inactive, I suppose, the law will invade. Operating under guilt at least requires an acknowledgment by progeny that they owe something to their progenitors. I’m not so sure that visits performed under threat of legal action will have the beneficial effects desired for the elderly, or their children.