One of the oddest features of western Christianized culture is its ready acceptance of the myth of the stable family and the happy marriage. We have been taught to accept the myth not as an heroic ideal, something good, brave, and nearly impossible to fulfil, but as the very fiber of normal life. Given most families and most marriages, the belief seems admirable but foolhardily.
The Family is the Country of the heart. There is an angel in the Family who, by the mysterious influence of grace, of sweetness, and of love, renders the fulfillment of duties less wearisome, sorrows less bitter. The only pure joys unmixed with sadness which it is given to man to taste upon earth are, thanks to this angel, the joys of the Family.
As to the family, I have never understood how that fits in with the other ideals --or, indeed, why it should be an ideal at all. A group of closely related persons living under one roof; it is a convenience, often a necessity, sometimes a pleasure, sometimes the reverse; but who first exalted it as admirable, an almost religious ideal?
With a new familiarity and a flesh-creeping homeliness entirely of this unreal, materialistic world, where all sentiment is coarsely manufactured and advertised in colossal sickly captions, disguised for the sweet tooth of a monstrous baby called the Public, the family as it is, broken up on all hands by the agency of feminist and economic propaganda, reconstitutes itself in the image of the state.
A poor relation is the most irrelevant thing in nature, a piece of impertinent correspondence, an odious approximation, a haunting conscience, a preposterous shadow, lengthening in the noon-tide of our prosperity. He is known by his knock.
The proliferation of support groups suggests to me that too many Americans are growing up in homes that do not contain a grandmother. A home without a grandmother is like an egg without salt and Helpists know it. They have jumped into the void left by the disappearance of morbid old ladies from the bosom of the American family.
The roaring of the wind is my wife and the stars through the window pane are my children. The mighty abstract idea I have of beauty in all things stifles the more divided and minute domestic happiness.
Growing up human is uniquely a matter of social relations rather than biology. What we learn from connections within the family takes the place of instincts that program the behavior of animals; which raises the question, how good are these connections?
The striking point about our model family is not simply the compete-compete, consume-consume style of life it urges us to follow. The striking point, in the face of all the propaganda, is how few Americans actually live this way.
A family is a place where minds come in contact with one another. If these minds love one another the home will be as beautiful as a flower garden. But if these minds get out of harmony with one another it is like a storm that plays havoc with the garden.
Enjoy the good health. Bring the truth happiness.
Care of his own family. Give the peace to all.
Firstly, one must discipline and control his own mind.
If he can do so, the enlightenment, wisdom and virtue will go to him naturally.