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Excerpted from Spiritual Parenting by Hugh and Gayle Prather. Copyright 1996 by Hugh and Gayle Prather. Excerpted by permission of Harmony Books, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.  HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.
 


"We must simply begin--today--to cherish and protect the children in our own homes, our own schools, and our personal lives."

Hugh and Gayle Prather, Spiritual Parenting, Part 2

How can we thrive as a people if our very offspring continue to be treated like lesser humans, like afterthoughts, and all too often, like refuse? Even more important than how at ease we are with what is going on around us is the question of our spiritual survival. Unless we heal our attitude toward children, the human race will end up so gutted of its decency that it will little matter whether it physically survives or not.

If the world wanted to feed starving children, it could do so easily. If the world wanted to outlaw acts of war against children, it could do so easily. If the world wanted to provide homeless children with shelter, it could do so easily. But children are not a priority in the world, and they never have been. Experience shows that we can't look to our world leaders or our religious leaders to cleanse our collective soul and redirect our energies toward children. That leaves you and me and our God.

We don't need to start still one more angry movement, or one more angry letter-writing campaign, or one more angry march on Washington. We must simply begin--today--to cherish and protect the children in our own homes, our own schools, and our personal lives. Within a world that has done very little for children, that is at least something. It's a starting point. And who is in a position to know the effects of just one parent, or one couple, or one schoolteacher learning to see and enjoy children? If God is the splendor that joins us all, who can place a limit on a single decision made in that Love?

This book reflects our deep personal conviction that parenting is a spiritual path, a form of worship. We believe that one's attitude toward children either is or should be at the heart of any reverential approach to life. In many ways a teacher is a parent; a coach is a parent; a counselor is a parent; a politician is a parent; even a mere voter is a parent. We should all think of ourselves as a parent in the gentlest sense of that term--as a guardian of the young.

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