It Takes a Village
This morning’s blog is about a topic that’s near and dear to my heart. My next children’s book highlights how important it is for us to intervene in the lives of children. Our very presence could change the trajectory of a child’s life. Please read, I would ask that you consider the questions that I have posed, and become actively involved in the life of a youth that could use you in his/her village.
It Takes a Village was the title of a book written by Hillary Clinton in 1996. I’ve heard it many times before, I’ve heard people say it, write it, hashtag it, but how many of us really believe it? In my mind, “It takes a Village” means that it takes more than biological parents to raise and meet the needs of children. It means that it takes the collective efforts of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, administrators, neighbors etc. According to the US Census Bureau out of the 12 million single parent families in 2014, 80% were single mother households. One in four children under 18 are being raised without a father. These statistics show the disturbing breakdown of the familial unit. Single parent homes also equates to one income, and one parent who has to work to provide for the family. With so many children being raised in single parent homes, can we really debate the need for a village? Most of these children are going home after school to an empty house and are required to take care of themselves and their siblings. Being a child has taken on a much different meaning than it was 50, 20, or even 10 years ago.
I’m a solution oriented type of person, I do not like to belabor an issue, and make no mistake there is an issue. When we have children cussing out adults, joining gangs, dropping out of school, committing suicide, and committing murders, there is a problem. So many people are of the mindset of, “It isn’t my problem.” Well, I would challenge that thinking and contend that it is your problem, and my problem, in fact, it’s all of our problem. It is a human problem, and if we are not part of the solution, we are part of the problem. If you listen closely, you’ll hear whispers about how bad the kids are and how out of control they are, or how they would never tolerate such behavior. I get it, some kids are hard to get through to, some are “too far gone”, but how do you know? Have you tried reaching out to a kid? Have you tried having a conversation with a child that isn’t a part of your family? What exactly have you done to make a difference in the life of a child? To quote Whitney Houston’s hit song, “I believe the children are our future.” What are we prepared to do to save our future?