General Question

Sorceren's avatar

Are you part of the village or one of its children?

Asked by Sorceren (666points) February 15th, 2009

I’ve seen “it takes a village to raise a child” quoted here several times, but I’m interested to know how you see it. Are you one of the village’s grown-ups, who must help the rest raise its troublesome offspring, or are you a child that the village seems to want to chide, correct, and control into conformity?

If you’re a village parental unit, do you welcome anyone else’s casual (not gummint) help rearing your kid(s)? Or do you resent strangers’ efforts to help?

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17 Answers

bythebay's avatar

I’ve never taken that idiom to mean that I (or any other) is responsible for chiding, correcting, or controlling another’s child – nor they mine. I have taken it to mean a village of well intended support. We provide avenues for support, programs, activities,safety etc. We are not in a circle of huts raising each others children; and not all children are troublesome.

Communities include schools, libraries, activity centers,sports facilities, clubs, and parks. Parents, teachers, business owners, volunteers, neighbors, etc. If it’s a well oiled machine the children constantly have an avenue for guidance and activity. It’s more like an umbrella, not a grandmother pulling on your ear for chewing gum.

fireside's avatar

I’ve always taken the expression to mean that there is a wealth of experience that a child can be exposed to and that the parents shouldn’t be expected to provide all of that knowledge. The idea of the village is a way to provide access to that knowledge. If a child grows up with a wealth of resources, they will be more well-rounded and will have a broader understanding of how things all connect with each other.

But if I had to answer based on the simple dichotomy presented, I would say both.
There is plenty that I can share, but plenty more to learn.

DrBill's avatar

I would be a member of the village, and the village is a cooperative, with all the villagers dependant on each other and contributing to the general good.

AstroChuck's avatar

I’m the village idiot.

Look out! The penguins are coming for us!

fireside's avatar

AC would be the king of hearts(1966_film)

Sorceren's avatar

I wrote and submitted an answer on this thread, and it has plumb disappeared! @fireside, agreed that “there is a wealth of experience that a child can be exposed to and that the parents shouldn’t be expected to provide all of that knowledge. The idea of the village is a way to provide access to that knowledge. ”

I grew up until sixth grade on military bases. Without exception, children were made aware every time they turned around of “the village’s” expectations: they were expected to learn and adhere to the same standards of conduct their parents had to. I thought that was how adults were supposed to act.

susanc's avatar

I didn’t grow up on military bases, but I learned exactly what you learned, Sorceren: do
exactly what the grownups do to the very best of your abilities – except for the fun stuff, of course – smoking, drinking, flirting, falling down, fistfights, and driving drunk.

It helped me a lot that I had teachers from social classes other than my parents’ and their friends’. Diversity! Life! Glory! and of course, balance.

When I was grown up and helping to raise kids, their world was more open, and not very safe.
I tried to make a nest. Later I tried to help make the world big enough for them, too. They met some assholes out there, but hey: Diversity! Life! Glory! Plus they already
knew at least two assholes here at home.

Trustinglife's avatar

I’m intrigued by this question. I’m 28, and am a healthy, fully functioning adult. But in some ways, I feel lost and child-like, particularly around how to manifest what I want to do in the world and share my gifts.

Maybe there’s a third category for people like me? Mature adults, who still are looking for guidance, advice, and mentoring.

wundayatta's avatar

I feel that because I have children, I am part of the village. We interact with other kids all the time, and we are responsible for keeping them safe (as well as protecting our own property). We join in with the parent associations at schools and daycare to improve those services.

I also, occasionally, help with children that I don’t know. Kids wandering around during the day who should be in school, I may tell them about the advantages of being in school Of course, if a child were being hurt, I’d help them. If lost, help them find their parents, and if a child seemed like they were being abused, I would try to get protection for them.

In the old days, when we all lived in the same village, and village had only 500 people, you could know everyone, and know all the kids, and there would truly be shared responsibility for all the kids. These days, it’s harder because you don’t know all the kids, and helping with kids you don’t know is a dicey proposition. Usually, it’s better left to professionals, but occasionally, one must step in oneself.

adreamofautumn's avatar

I’m definitely one of it’s children. I wish it would stop trying to make me conform. If the village is about conformity and not letting people be who they are…the village will have no say in my future children.

Trustinglife's avatar

The village I’m a part of is not about conformity. I invite you to shuck off that idea of it – even if it seems true. Be yourself.

augustlan's avatar

I am definitely a parental unit. Not a scold, but a guide. I’ve had the good fortune to know many teens and young adults that look to me for life advice, and I love it! It is a pleasure to have deep conversations with the young.

On the other hand, in the Fluther village I am but a babe in the woods. I soak up all I can from the wise people here.

Trustinglife's avatar

I admire your humility, Aug. And I don’t consider you a babe in the woods here. Maybe just a babe. :)

augustlan's avatar


AstroChuck's avatar

Yeah, Auggie. If you were a president you’d be Babe-raham Lincoln.


Strauss's avatar

I grew up in a small town in Illinois. It’s not too much exaggeration to say that if I did got caught doing something wrong, another adult might say something to me, or possibly my mom would know about it before I got home.

lxkarry's avatar

i am not from village,but i think some villages are richer than city.and there should be many charity to help them,and if i have ability i will also give a hand .

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