Family Values Are Not Contradictory to Personal Choice as Well as Self-Fulfillment

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Are family values contradictory to personal choice as well as self-fulfillment?

With the collapse of the traditional family mode and the accelerated development of the capitalist world, the world has changed significantly. According to John Dewey, “The significant thing is that the loyalties which once held individuals, which gave them support, direction, and unity of outlook on life, have well-nigh disappeared” (Individualism—Old and New, 1962). And the situation remains the same in the 21st century. There has been more flexibility on lifestyle and people are no longer under the pressure—or under less pressure –of forming a family. Some people choose to devote their whole self to what they want to do, claiming that carrying out family values will prevent themselves from choosing what they really want and affect the process of realizing self-fulfillment. There has been a heated debate on whether family values are contradictory to personal choice as well as self-fulfillment. This essay will consider arguments in support of family values conflicting personal choice as well as self-fulfillment, and then point out the problems of these statements. It will set forth reasons why family values are not contradictory to personal choice as well as self-fulfillment.

Many people claim that people are not free to make personal choice because of family values, especially in a society dominated by Confucius culture, where several generations live together and filial piety as well as blood relationship is appreciated; however, this is not true. In Confucius culture, rather than love relationships between couples, much weight is put on the affection between family members. As Lin Yutang said in “The Chinese family ideal”, this affection contributes to a feeling of obligation which amounts to a deeply religious attitude. This leads some people to suspect that family members may have to sacrifice their own...
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