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Not Sanctuary, But Training Ground

The family, then, is not a sanctuary cut off from the rest of society, not a secluded preserve, but a training ground for life in community, in village or clan or tribe.  If there is to be a vigorous community for children to join, the family must also provide, in Gary Snyder's phrase, "the Practice Hall" for adults as well, a place where men and women perform the ceremonies of mutual aid, amuse and challenge one another, share comfort and love.  By all these measures, a good family is one that encourages the full flowering of parents; that cherishes grandparents as carriers of wisdom; that nourishes children in body and mind and soul, and prepares them to enter the world as responsible and competent adults.

- Scott Russell Sanders, Hunting for Hope: A Father's Journeys (Beacon Press, 1998)



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