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It takes a village to raise a child

Posted Nov 17 2008 6:15pm

It takes a village to raise a child. I had never heard of this proverb before Suzy sent to me. And thinking about it i think it is so true.

This ancient African proverb teaches eternal truth. No man, woman, or family is an island. But in this century, community isn't always what it is supposed to be. We'd all like to think we live in a place where people care about others -- where people pitch in to help when things get rough -- where it's safe to leave the doors unlocked and let the kids play around outside.

This isn't always what we experience. Instead of community, we find alienation; looking for safety, we are attacked by crime; hoping for a better life for our kids, we encounter gangs and drugs and the lies of television. People often retreat behind closed and try to ignore their neighbors. Politicians preach envy and hate, dividing us further instead of working for reconciliation. Being poor these days just isn't what it used to be.
This affects all our children as times have changed
Nowadays, children are raised to fear and distrust nearly every adult stranger. Teachers and mentors and members of the community are afraid to say anything critical or to offer any form of correction, lest they be sued or directly attacked by the child’s family. Not only that, moral standards and ideals of excellence are seen as social relics of a past, and so need to be discarded. This most certainly is not the sentiment that gave rise to the African proverb.

I think the parents are the primary people responsible for raising the child. That being said, I do think that the "village", or people who affect the child's life definitely have a huge impact on how that child turns out, whether it's for the better or worse. People in general never realize the effect they have on others much less a child and should do all they can to ensure the best outcome possible.

Does the same go for C?
Does C see his life of people shying away from him frightened. So he does the same.
Does he think being ignored or verbally abused is the norm? Maybe that’s why he doesn't speak as he doesn't want to be rude to people!
Does he think it takes everyone years to be treated for being ill. So he puts up with it. Or just thinks that's the way it is. Etc.
It is hardly surprising C knows no better and its not just down to his autism or learning disability.
After all children grow up and learn from the ‘village’ around them.

It is happening to all our children.
And a thank you to Mootia for my lovely award!
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