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Children and the Dark Side of Human Experience

Confronting Global Realities and Rethinking Child Development

Children and the Dark Side of Human Experience by James Garbarino
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And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them; and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. ” —Mark, 10:13–14 I began writing this book during a trip to Japan in January 2002. While in the country I started reading anthropologist Ruth Benedict’s classic analysis of Japanese society and culture, The Sword and the Chrysanthemum. Written at the close of World War II to help the American government plan for defeating the Japanese war machine and dealing with a defeated nation, Benedict wrote several things that struck home as I began my own work a half century later. For one thing, as she reviewed indigenous Japanese social analyses she cautioned, “They were amazingly frank. Of course they did not present the whole picture. No people does. A Japanese who writes about Japan passes over really crucial things which are as familiar to him and as invisible as the air he breathes. So do Americans when they write about America” (p. 7). That is part of the challenge I faced, to see what is invisible in front of our eyes. The German poet Goethe spoke of this when he wrote: “What is most difficult of all? That which you think is easiest, To see what is before your eyes.
Springer New York; March 2008
156 pages; ISBN 9780387756264
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Title: Children and the Dark Side of Human Experience
Author: James Garbarino
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