Tales from the old-timerIssue Date: April 24, 2014
It Takes A Village
By Jane Thibodeau Martin,
daughter of the Old-Timer
This sentiment has been around a long time but it became well-known, and, unfortunately, politically controversial when Hillary Clinton used it.
I say unfortunate, as I think this saying is absolutely a truism, and most of us are lucky enough to have grown up benefitting from such a village.
Few children grow up in a social vacuum. Kids attend or participate in sports, faith community events, schools, clubs, and other activities where they have contacts with all sorts of adults. They are watched over, trained, corrected and protected (for the most part,) by teachers, bus drivers, coaches, club leaders, faith leaders, and many other caring adults.
And for most of us that caring circle includes our neighbors - those who watch over us until our parents get home from work, come and correct us if we are playing in the street or doing something else dangerous, and call to see if we are okay when a strange car is in front of our home. They dont usurp the role of a parent, but actively demonstrate care for all children, like normally healthy adult humans have always done.
Which of us wouldnt stop and help the child who fell off his bike in front of our home? The toddler obviously lost and frightened at the mall? Nearly all of us would, and care for the weak, the young, and the lvulnerable among us is one of the most defining qualities of what we mean when we say words like community or society.
Its also what causes us such revulsion when an adult abuses the trust of parents and children, and rightly so.
We were home in Marinette County in March. My daughter, who is 23 but looks younger, walked down my parents rural road and was at an isolated intersection out of view of any residence while we were there. A woman drove up to her, rolled down her window, and asked Angela if she were okay or if she needed help. My guess is she lives somewhere close by, and didnt recognize Angela as being from the neighborhood (rightly so, as she lives in Oklahoma). But she cared enough to investigate this situation, and offer assistance to my daughter if she needed help. What a kind gesture, and regardless of how she feels politically, she was living It Takes A Village. Thank you, kind lady, whoever you are.
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