Of all the advice from all the gurus of the world...

I just read the really interesting autobiography of Blase Bonpane, a peace activist who has worked on Central American human rights issues. He used to be a Maryknoll (Catholic) priest, but was part of that great upheaval of the late 1960s in which many priests and nuns left their vocations in the church and began enriching the world as laypeople. 

Shortly after leaving the priesthood, Bonpane met and married a woman who had just left religious life herself, as a Maryknoll sister (nun). He and Theresa Kileen Bonpane went on to have two children.

Bonpane's book is really about his life as an organizer, not his family life. In fact, a blurb from Noam Chomsky states that he tells young people who ask, "What can I do to make this sad world a better place?" to start by reading Blase Bonpane's autobiography. 

But in the midst of reading about his political and social ideas, I was heartened by Bonpane's assertion that having kids can develop your abilities to make a difference in the world. 

Children will teach you, challenge you, make you grow daily, as nothing else. 

Of all the advice from all the gurus of the world and all of the ways of perfection, I would suggest one which I consider the highest: raise children....

Once our own infants come along and we realize they will be with us twenty-four hours a day, we must make a choice. Are we going to follow our selfish ways or are we going to respond to their needs? In our case, we were further challenged by the need to balance our political work and the children...  
— Blase Bonpane

Bonpane goes on to share insights from his experience raising a family while being an activist. His observation that, "every child in the world has had either too much parenting or not enough" resonates with me. He notes that, "the younger they are, the more attention they need." Between the lines, it's clear that he and his wife were excellent parents, bringing as much care and intentionality to raising children as they did to their political work. 

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