The three sacred words “duty”, “honor” and “country” reverently dictate what you should be, what you can be, and what you will be. They urge you to build courage when courage seems to fail, to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith, to create hope when hope becomes abandoned. I am convinced that these words teach you to be proud and unbending in honest failure, but humble and gentle in success; not to substitute words for action; not to seek the path of comfort, but to face the stress of difficulty and challenge; to learn to stand up in the storm, but to have compassion on those who fall; to have a heart that is clean, a goal that is high; to learn to laugh, yet never forget how to weep, to reach into the future, yet never neglect the past; to be serious, yet never take yourself too seriously; to be modest so that you will remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, the meekness of true strength. In short, these words teach you to be both a militant fighter and a gentleman.
What a noble medium the English language is. It is not possible to write a page without experiencing positive pleasure at the richness and variety, the flexibility and the profoundness of our mother-tongue. If an English writer cannot say what he has to, say in English, and in simple English, it is probably not worth saying. What a pity that English is not more generally studied, I am not going to attack classical education. No one who has the slightest pretension to literary tastes can be insensible to its attraction. But I confess our present educational system excites in my mind grave misgivings, which I cannot believe is the best or even reasonable, a system that thrusts upon reluctant and uncomprehending multitudes treasures which can only be appreciated by the privileged and gifted few. To the vast majority of children who attend our public schools; classical education is from beginning to end long, useless and meaningless. If I am told that classical subjects are the best preparation for the study of English, I reply that by far this preparatory stage is incomplete and without deriving any of the benefits which are promised as its result.
A major source of anxiety about the future of the family is rooted not so much in reality as in the tension between the idealized expectation in the culture and the reality itself. Nostalgia for a lost family tradition, which, in fact, never existed, has prejudiced our understanding of the conditions of families in contemporary society. Thus, the current .anxiety over the fate of the family reflects not only problems in the family but also a variety of fears about other social problems that are eventually projected onto the family.
The real problem facing American families today are not symptoms of breakdown as is often suggested; rather, they reflect the difficulties of adaptation to recent social changes, particularly to the loss of diversity in household membership, to the reduction of the variety of family functions and, to some extent, to the weakening of the family adaptability. The idealization of the family as a refuge from the world and the myth that the work of mothers is harmful has added considerable strain. The continuous emphasis on the family as a universal private retreat and as an emotional haven is misguided in light of historical experience.