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Isn't it pretty?

Monday, October 11, 2004

A Horribly Broken System

The shidduch system is horribly broken, and getting worse by the day. I am horrifed daily by stories of the inane questions people ask when "checking out" a potential date. How many of the siblings are married and who are they married to? What kind of shoes does a guy wear? What does the mother wear to the Shabbos table? I could list more but I can't bear to write them out. I was absolutely disgusted when I recently heard of someone who was afraid to divulge his volunteer affiliations. Why was he afraid? Because if someone found out that he was doing chesed, it might ruin the shidduch chances of his children, who are currently still in diapers. I guess the chesed organization he was helping out wasn't on the "approved list." There is so much focus on appearances and "playing the part" that it seems people have lost touch with what is important in a marriage - character. So much focus is placed on the family, education, clothing and financial status of a potential date that many seem to bypass the things that make a relationship work - such as personality, kindness, maturity and honesty. Families are encouraged to hide their true selves in order to save the shidduch chances of their children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins. People live in fear of doing anything that could be considered divergent, and encourage complacency and the stifling of natural talent because it is better to fit in than be considered different, or an independent thinker. Individual opinions shouldn't be voiced, lest you come out against what is popular. Never stand out, because you might be considered a "black sheep" and then your brothers and sisters, much less yourself, might be single forever. The whole thing is so incredibly ridiculous. When I am confronted with a potential date, and I ask about the person's character, I often get a response like, "Well he wears a black hat and has a good job." What does that tell me about his character? I wish people would get back to focusing on WHO people are, rather than what they look like, what image they project, or what garb they wear. When you are looking only at externals, you are easily fooled, and when you are talking about someone who will potentially be a part of your life forever, the core, rather than the shell, is what is important. End The Madness is working towards spreading this message, and it is a great start, but more people need to open their eyes and change this horrible system that is not working.

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