When people earnestly say “It takes a village to raise a child,” I know they mean it. But their actions seem to change the sentiment into, “It takes a village to raise MY child.” It can be disheartening to hear entitled speeches and media posts filled with people living for themselves without a thought for their struggling neighbor.
I’ve been blessed to work with so many unselfish people over the years. Moms who work full-time yet still become president of the PTA. Men who coach soccer, baseball and football even when they don’t have a child on the team. People who work in service organization to support schools and donate countless volunteer hours to students. But there are many people who look to their own family and do only what serves their own children.
There are kids in our “village” who don’t have elders to help them. That is when neighbors, teachers, friends and other capable and kind adults can step in to say, “I will help you.” Very early on in our parenting, a wise mentor told Mr. K and I that if we were blessed to have our family, then we ought to see how we can bless other children who didn’t have our same network of support. Parenting is hard work. It becomes harder still when we feel isolated or overloaded with stress and that is when we need each other most.
Politics and policies don’t matter to children who need the help we can give them today. Be aware of what you can do with what you have for the people in your life right now – especially those who cannot help themselves. To paraphrase a famous quote, let’s not ask what our village can do for us, but what we can do for our village.