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|Mom Writers Literary Magazine REVIEW
NATIONAL SECURITY MOM: WHY GOING SOFT WILL MAKE AMERICA STRONG
by Gina M. Bennett
Applying Parenting Policies to Government Policies
Review by Kris Underwood
It's no secret Americans are a little worried about national safety these days, particularly economic safety. These past few years, and more recently with the housing market slump, foreclosures, and government bail outs of iconic and traditionally secure insurance firms, and current Wall Street and stock exchange disasters, the safety net is starting to tear. We all want security for our families, for them to be safe. Ultimately, National Security Mom isn't really about national security and terrorism. It's really more about how the security of our families and homes can shape our nation.
In the preface, Bennett says "The strength and security of my family is not dependent on our home security system. It stems from the good example my husband and I set for our children and the unconditional love we consistently demonstrate." Indeed, if our families are not strong, our nation will not be strong. Throughout the book, she attempts to de-mystify the issue of national security and lay it out in ways we can relate to it by breaking it down into three parts:
Part One shows how tactics we practice as parents could easily be applied to the way national security is run. For example, the notion of love and respect. It is necessary to have these elements for a secure, healthy family. If these things are absent, we have insecurity, fear of intrusion, etc. Another excellent point that Bennett makes (that government tends to avoid) is that we are not perfect. That we are bound to miss something no matter how hard we try to prevent terrorism (or prevent harm coming to our kids).
Part Two talks about how what we teach our children can be applied to how the nation is run. "The advice we give our children every day is the advice we would wish our leaders to follow as they govern us and demonstrate America's leadership in the world. Because what we teach our children is what we should do collectively as a nation." Yes, it's what we should do. That doesn't necessarily always happen. Chapters in this section have such titles as Tell the Truth; If You Make the Mess, Clean It Up; Don't Give In to a Bully; Choose Your Friends Wisely; If You Can't Say Something Nice, Don't Say Anything at All; and Learn From Your Mistakes. All of these could very easily be applied to our government. Imagine what could be done if the government actually took that advice!
Part Three is heavy on the quotes, but only to illustrate the similarities between parenting and governing a nation. Drawing on the words of Confucius, Kahlil Gibran, Golda Meir and others, Barrett impresses upon us the need to be involved in our own governance. She states that running a nation, state or city is not too different than running a household. Things parents already do, such as multi-tasking, conflict resolution and time outs can easily be applied to governing a state.
What would happen if we, as a nation, took heed of our parents advice? A sound nation? It all comes down to this: if government could truly recognize the value of family and respect it, we'd be a very different society.
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