THE AUTHOR STARTS WITH THE CHAPTER AS FAMILY.
THE FAMILY: BEDROCK OR QUICKSAND:
If the family is strong, then the nation is strong. If the family is weak, then the nation is weak. And what’s the status of the family America today?
The word that comes to my mind is ’shaky.’
Not all the families, to be sure. But in general, the symptoms of the moral revolutions through which we are living can be seen plainly enough in family life. There is a breakdown of authority. There is a breakdown of discipline. There is a breakdown of communications. There is a breakdown of responsibility.
Now if the foundations on which a structure rests have become shaky, you must do one of two things: either tear the structure down or fix the foundations.
A combination of love and discipline is our basic formula.
Since I had always believed that affirmations are stronger and more useful than negatives,
Let’s save the positive exhortations for lasts and begin with don’ts.
There are five of them. Here they are:
1. Don’t give your children too many things.
2. Don’t saddle them your own fear, prejudices or frustrations.
3. Don’t be overprotective.
4. Where discipline is concerned, don’t vacillate.
5. Don’t stifle their talent for religion.
So much for the deadly don’ts. Now here are the not-so-deadly Do:
1. The first, and simplest, is this: show affection.
2. Trust them.
3. Encourage them to think for themselves.
4. Cultivate the ability to communicate with them.
5. Show them what self-discipline is.
What I have been trying to say in this chapter: that there must be inner controls if civilization is to endure that these inner controls must be taught by disciplined parents in the home, only thus can a nation produce people strong enough to face the challenges of the destructive forces of the universe.
“Train up a child,” says the Bible, “in the way, he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
What a responsibility-and what an opportunity.
MEMO TO THE READER NUMBER: 6
THE SPRINGBOARD OF OPTIMISM:
“Well,” you might say to me at this point,” you’ve been talking for me more than half a book now about the need for self-discipline, self-control, do you acquire those things?
How do you even begin?
You start the way all the journey starts, with a single step.
Only in this case, it’s not a physical step, it’s a mental one.
You have to decide that you can do it.
A great psychiatrist once said, “The basic factor in physics is a force, the basic factor in human affairs is the realizable wish.
Two things Edison has said. “Science has barely scratched the surface of the possibilities of the universe,” he said. And added. “There’s no limit to what you can do with non-human nature.”
No-limit-that’s optimistic phrase.
There is one area where I think most could do a lot right now to improve and strengthen ourselves, and that’s the realm of physical fitness, the way we use-or abuse-our own bodies. All too often the marvellous envelope that our own house our souls or spirits gets less care then give-say-the family car. But self-discipline can pay marvellous dividends, too.
In the next chapter, I’ll tell you how this realization was brought home to me and why I think it’s important to you.