From pages 5, 6
Families must not isolate themselves from the rest of the world in their communes lest there is a decline in intelligence and virtue from generations of keeping to itself. Without the proper outlets a family will wither and perhaps die.
Families must have proper outlets to sustain it's health. Just as a nation branches out by planting a new colony and is careful and attentive to include that colony in the national life, so too is the miniature nation: the family. Branching out to help struggling families, a family nourishes its own life and the whole community prospers. The family must serve its neighbors.
Furthermore, a family must branch out to serve in the national life. Just as any organic body, the nation is built up by an infinite number of living organisms. The life of the body is made complete when each organism is contributing to the overall well-being of its host. So too, a family must contribute to the national life by sharing public interests, taking up public works, and cherishing the public welfare. It's integrity within a nation must be maintained and preserved. Should a family fail to thrive in this manner, it becomes as injurious tissue to the living body and inhibits the vitality of the whole just as decaying tissue within an animal body.
This reminds me of a post I read today speaking about being good stewards of our God given gifts. Just as each individual has particular gifts, so does the family. These gifts must be nurtured and practiced at home, but ultimately aren't they to be used for the benefit of others? For the advancement of God's Kingdom?
What good does hoarding these gifts do? Like Charlotte said, it could be detrimental to the overall health and vitality of all should we hold back our gifts. What would the world look like today if we actually heeded Miss Mason's advice and blessed our neighbors, our communities, our towns, our states, our country and our world by branching out, looking for needs and filling them? Would we need all these social reforms and programs that we rely on so heavily?
I must confess here, I am guilty. I tend to concern myself with the needs of my immediate family and close friends. I tend to keep others at a safe arms-length distance. I barely know the names of my neighbors.
Oh sure, I may step out of my insulated comfort zone on occasion, but by and large I sit on the sidelines passively watching. Not to discount the things I am doing, BUT I know I could do more. Stretch-Mark Mama has some good ideas.....