family 2

The family is one of nature's masterpieces.

George Santayana


Parents belong to the world of the past; children belong to the world of the future.  Both share the world of the present, but neither can enter or fully understand the other's world and time.  It is easier to communicate across miles than across years.  We meet and laugh awhile; we separate and grieve awhile.  And then we remember.

Joseph A. Bauer


American families have always shown remarkable resiliency, or flexible adjustment to natural, economic, and social challenges.  Their strengths resemble the elasticity of a spider web, a gull's skillful flow with the wind, the regenerating power of perennial grasses, the cooperation of an ant colony, and the persistence of a stream carving canyon rocks.  These are not the strengths of fixed monuments but living organisms.  This resilience is not measured by wealth, muscle or efficiency but by creativity, unity, and hope.  Cultivating these family strengths is critical to a thriving human community.

Ben Silliman


Perhaps the greatest social service that can be rendered by anybody to this country and to mankind is to bring up a family.

George Bernard Shaw


What families have in common the world around is that they are the place where people learn who they are and how to be that way.

Jean Illsley Clarke


Parents have become so convinced that educators know what is best
for their children that they forget that they themselves are really the experts.

Marian Wright Edelman


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Science has established two facts meaningful for human welfare:
first, the foundation of the structure of human personality
is laid down in early childhood; and second, the chief engineer
in charge of this construction is the family.

Meyer Francis Nimkoff


To nourish children and raise them against odds is in any time,
any place, more valuable than to fix bolts in cars or design nuclear weapons.

Marilyn French


There is one practice which any family can maintain and that is the practice of a time of worship at each family meal.  Nearly all families are together for at least one meal a day and, in any case, should sacrifice much else to make this possible.  The table is really the family altar! Here those of all ages come together and help to sustain both their physical and their spiritual existence.  If a sacrament is "an actual conveyance of spiritual meaning and power by a material process," then a family meal can be a sacrament.  It entwines the material and the spiritual in a remarkable way.  The food, in and of itself, is purely physical, but it represents human service in its use.  Here, at one common table, is the father who has earned, the mother who has prepared or planned, and the children who share, according to need, whatever their antecedent participation may have been.

When we realize how deeply a meal together can be a spiritual and regenerating experience, we can understand something of why our Lord, when he broke bread with his little company toward the end of their earthly fellowship, told them, as often as they did it, to remember him.  We, too, seek to be members of his sacred fellowship, and irrespective of what we do about the Eucharist, there is no reason why each family meal should not take on something of the character of a time of memory and hope.

Elton Trueblood

It seems to me that since I've had children, I've grown richer and deeper.
They may have slowed down my writing for a while, but when I did write, I
had more of a self to speak from.

Anne Tyler

Your success as family, our success as a society, depends not on what
happens in the White House, but on what happens inside your house.

Barbara Bush


Who of us is mature enough for offspring before
the offspring themselves arrive? The value
of marriage is not that adults produce children,
but that children produce adults.

Peter De Vries



I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to
find out what they want and then advise them to do it.

Harry S. Truman


Let parents bequeath to their children not riches,
but the spirit of reverence.



Every generation revolts against its parents
and makes friends with its grandparents.

Lewis Mumford


Lord, this humble house we'd keep
Sweet with play and calm with sleep.
Help us so that we may give
Beauty to the lives we live.
Let Thy love and let Thy grace
Shine upon our dwelling place.

Edgar A. Guest


It's easier to build a child up well than it is to fix an adult.



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A roof to keep out the rain.  Four walls to keep out the wind.  Floors to keep out
the cold.  Yes, but home is more than that. It is the laugh of a baby, the song
of a mother, the strength of a father.  Warmth of loving hearts, light from
happy eyes, kindness, loyalty, comradeship.  Home is first school and
first church for the young ones, where they learn what is right, what is good,
and what is kind.  Where they go for comfort when they are hurt or sick.
Where joy is shared and sorrow eased.  Where fathers and mothers are respected
and loved.  Where children are wanted.  Where the simplest food is good enough
for kings because it is earned.  Where money is not so important as loving-kindness.
Where even the teakettle sings from happiness.  That is home.  God bless it.

Ernestine Schuman-Heink


We don't have choices about who our parents are and how they treated us,
but we have a choice about whether we forgive our parents and heal ourselves.

Bernie Siegel


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family 2  

I believe it's a fact of life that what we have is less important
than what we make out of what we have.  The same holds true
for families:  it's not how many people there are in a family that
counts, but rather the feelings among the people who are there.

Fred Rogers
The World According to Mr. Rogers

Children learn about the nature of the world from their family.  They
learn about power and about justice, about peace and about
compassion within the family.  Whether we oppress or liberate
our children in our relationships with them will determine whether they
grow up to oppress and be oppressed or to liberate and be liberated.

Desmond Tutu


Family life is full of major and minor crises--the ups and downs of health,
success and failure in career, marriage, and divorce--and all kinds of characters.
It is tied to places and events and histories.  With all of these felt details,
life etches itself into memory and personality.  It's difficult to imagine
anything more nourishing to the soul.

Thomas Moore



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