37. The Family

The Lines

Bottom. [9] From the beginning, orderly behavior and conformance to the necessities of communal living must be established. If children are indulged when young, it will be almost impossible to break their will when they grow older. If, instead, from the beginning children are required to obey family rules, they may later misbehave on occasion, but they are more easily corrected and returned to the right path. Similarly, in society, young people should be trained in social responsibility from the very beginning in order to avoid unlawful behavior when they become adults.

2. [6] Subordinate ministers should be guided by the leader, just as the wife should be guided by the head of the household. Subordinate persons always have duties for which they are responsible, and the welfare of all depends upon these duties being carefully and successfully carried out. Acting responsibly, therefore, and attending to the essentials, is the first duty of a subordinate, who is the person who has everyday contact with the rest of the members. Since life is an everyday matter, the correct performance of these duties brings good fortune to all.

3. [9] The governing style in the family should be in the middle between strictness and indulgence, with a preference for the former rather than the latter. Too much strictness creates resentment, and too little brings with it family disintegration. A little bit too much strictness does no harm, because discipline is a good lesson for all to learn. But a little bit too much indulgence introduces weakness and laxity, which can lead to misbehavior and humiliation.

4. [6] The wife, or the subordinate minister, being the person responsible for the everyday life of the family or group members, is the person who determines how smoothly the members relate and interact. This is the person who is in charge of fiscal responsibility and efficiency, and must see that expenditures and income are in balance. Keeping operating expenses within earnings is the key to happiness in any household, as well as in any larger organization.

5. [9] The leader of the family, or the community or state, is respected for his wisdom and abilities. He need not force his will upon them, because all love him and honor him for who he is. He governs, not arbitrarily or capriciously, but through the influence of his character and the intelligence of his decisions.

Top. [9] Although the wife, or subordinate minister, is responsible for the everyday relationships within the family, or community, it is the head of household, or leader, who sets the tone within which all live. It is through the force of his personality, the acuteness of his perception, and the virtue and wisdom of his decisions at every crucial moment, that the character of the whole family, or community, is formed and their good fortunes are assured. The strength of his personal leadership provides the authority within which the subordinate minister operates, the sense of obligation that members feel towards their duties, and the strong ties that members feel toward one another and the family as a whole. Ultimately, the collective character of the family is determined by him. He and he alone can assume this responsibility and make it effective, and it is upon him that the success of the family, or community, rests.

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37. The Family

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