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Home's not merely four square walls,
Though with pictures hung and gilded;
Home is where Affection calls--
Filled with shrines the Heart hath builded.
In the "To The Teacher" section at the beginning it outlines the important aspects of the book. The last point particularly struck me:
"Home Economics and War--During periods of national emergency, it is the duty of all to keep well physically and mentally. According to the newer knowledge of nutrition, to do this it becomes necessary for us to buy the right foods and prepare and serve them intelligently, thereby conserving their nutrients and developing their flavors. It becomes imperative for us to be calm that our nerves may be steady, our minds clear, and our courage unfailing. If bombers darken our skies, we need to give first aid to those who may be injured.
It is also the duty of all of us to waste no food or other commodity. We need to take care of that which we have, to buy only what we need, and to do such buying wisely.
In the classroom and laboratory, home economics teachers have been teaching these fundamentals of everyday living. The time is here to do that teaching better than ever before; to put all we have into helping make the American home the "first line of defense.""
President Obama said in his speech a few days ago, "America, it is time to focus on nation building here at home." He was talking about bringing troops home from Afghanistan and how we are now going to focus on job creation and clean energy and, and, and. I don't think he was talking about strengthening the American home as our first line of defense. Kind of wish he was, though. Don't you? Wouldn't it be great if the encouragement to "live within our means" came along with the encouragement to eat a home cooked meal around your table as a family every night. Along with the encouragement to invest in "clean energy" don't you wish the admonishment was for people to go for bike rides with their families or take a casual stroll hand-in-hand after dinner? When President Obama mentions a sacred trust, wouldn't it be great if what came to mind was the sacred trust between husband and wife, parent and child? He mentions all of us being "a part of one American family." If the big American family looks anything like the nucleus family in America, we are in some deep kimchi.
Again from my old home ec. book:
"Scientists have found that the home exerts a five times greater influence on the lives of young persons than does any other factor. Since this is true, it is necessary that they make home life successful. This book points out ways of creating happiness in the home--your home with your father and mother and your own home if you marry."
Isn't that a truly delightful thought--creating happiness in the home as a priority for the happiness of the individual and for society.
"He is the happiest, be he king or peasant,
who finds peace in his home."
That's the kind of nation building I can really get behind.