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Most of us do not assume our children will support us when we are old, and most dare not expect to live with them when we can no longer care for ourselves.We require no specific obligations from our children beyond a vaguely defined respect that includes burying us.The continuity of the family is thus a biological fact which human society, in accordance with natural law, should reflect.Man's existence does not begin with a cut-off point called birth. A part of him has been in continuous biological existence from his very first progenitor.The family should be run as a "benevolent monarchy," the eldest male as household head.Sons remained home after they married, while daughters went to live with their husbands'families.In our old age we often try to ask as little as possible from them,preferring independence to "being a burden." Most Koreans find this bewildering and inhuman.
A person who is capable of strong emotional involvement with others is regarded as possessing ample humanity. It alleviates the numbing cold of a burial chamber.We American parents do not want to cling to our children.We fear we will cripple them emotionally, and they will not "make it" on their own.As long as there were sons to take over family leadership when their fathers died, families were maintained indefinitely.
Young children in Korea were (and are) indulged; toilet training was relaxed, and discipline began much later than in American families.By the time he reached seven a boy knew that he must use the respectful mode of speech to his older brother, and he knew that failure to do so would result in swift and certain punishment.