What do I have in common with Vladimir Putin? Apparently more than I formerly realized.
In September, 2014 the World Congress of Families Conference is being held in Moscow, Russia. The Conference focus: “Every Child a Gift: Large Families—The Future of Humanity.” Take note: The conference in Russia is focusing on large families. Why? Russia’s population has been in decline since 1991, falling at a rate of about 0.5%. Not until 2010 when the government started supporting and even encouraging childbirth has Russia seen a population increase of 0.4%, the highest in Eastern Europe. More recently Russian lawmakers are pushing to limit or completely ban abortions believing that they are partly responsible for the country’s dwindling population. Currently the birthrate in Russia is 1.7 children per woman. Their society is unsustainable at that rate and they know it. In June of 2013 the Russian Parliament past a law that prohibits propagandizing of “relations not conducive to procreation.” Russian leaders are pulling out all the stops. They want their country to thrive again, and they see large families as the key feature in the accomplishment of this goal.
Growing up in the fifties large families were the norm where I lived. My mother had eight children. Dorothy, who lived across the street, had six. Elma next door had five. Aunt Barbara had six. Large families were everywhere. So when I got married in 1975 I couldn’t imagine my newly created family without children…lots of them. In May, 1985 my fifth baby was born, and I knew my family was complete. Was my life frenzied? Most of the time, yes. But it got better and better as I focused on learning how to keep our lives scheduled, positive, and always moving forward. My memories are sweet and I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world! When honesty, goodness, hard work, and responsibility are taught in the home, the result is not only a strong family, but a stronger community and thriving society. This is what Russian leaders are hoping to bring back to their country. How unfortunate that it took the demise of the family and society for Russian leaders to recognize the correlation. The laws being implemented are to encourage a family-centered society. It may take generations to recover what they have lost, but Vladimir Putin is finally coming around to my way of thinking.