At some point in time the village stopped raising the child. To be very honest, I don’t know whose to blame. In a sense, I blame the village. Too afraid to stand up for what is right (rightfully so) and continue with the “boy I’ll tell your mama” or the “Your grandmother would be ashamed of you acting like that”. Nowadays, you tell a CHILD that they should correct their behavior or the manner in which they speak and they will curse you out like there is no tomorrow. Or maybe the blame should be placed on the parents who somehow developed a sense of “you can’t tell my child what to do even when I know it’s best for them”. This in itself creates a disrespectful persona in tiny humans that don’t even reach our knees. If my mama said I don’t have to listen to you I can also mistreat and disregard you and any form of authority. The respect for elders seems to be prehistoric. Who knows where the blame should lie?
What I do know is that things were different when the village raised the child. When the village raised the child your grandma was everyone’s grandma and would put a foot in anyone’s butt if she deemed it necessary. When the village raised a child somebody’s Mama would comb your hair, feed, and clothe you without making your mama feel inadequate. When the village raised the child everybody had a daddy even if they didn’t have a daddy. Because there were uncles, brothers, cousins, neighbors, grocery store owners, and so much more who would teach you, talk to you, and put some money in your pocket. When the village raised the child people were praying over all children…not just their own. When the village raised the child we all fought hard to make sure that they turned out to be “somebody”.
Things weren’t perfect back then even though the village raised the child. But, my God, was it so different. I didn’t curse out loud as a teen on the bus. I was too afraid that someone from the village would hear me and rush home to tell my Mama. I wasn’t “hugged up” (as my grandma would say) on the corner with some boy because if someone from the village saw me she just may drag me home by my ponytail. There was less disrespect towards elders, more standing up for what is right, and more children were being cared for. There was a little more love when the village raised the child. Oh, how I miss when the village raised the child.
Photo credit (https://www.itsablackthang.com/products/art-0733)