A popular adage frequently heard, especially in today’s ever increasing free society is, “It takes a Village to raise a child.” Like any other this too can be questioned or even debated. Some contend that it only takes two good parents to do so. This certainly would be the ideal way but even the dichotomy of “good parents” has drastically changed in recent years.
When you listen to the “old folk’s tales” of some senior citizens you will hear many speak of how neighbors, teachers and others acted as surrogate parents exercising full rights and privileges to punish bad behavior before reporting it to the parents–who, in turn would repeat the physical punishment-–all outlawed in today’s modern, undisciplined society.
I’m firmly convinced that history will support the theory that in small villages, townships and more rural areas it was generally accepted that the village help raise the child. How much less could such theory be needed in today’s selfish, egotistical insensitive environments and mechanized business world? No matter how good the parental upbringing, it takes a mighty strong child to pass unscathed through today’s abundance of easily accessible vices, lures and negative influences. There may also be extenuating circumstances that would prevent the parent(s) from providing the necessary strong spiritual and moral guidance by example so vital in the teaching process.
From the increasing promiscuity of prime time television and the freedom of social media, it is quite obvious that you cannot legislate morality, spirituality, love or lust. Therefore, more than ever, it takes an ever-widening village to raise the children of today.
An equally familiar adage, based on Biblical reference, was brought to the forefront with former President Obama’s unveiling of his “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative, designed to help young men and boys (of color in particular) to succeed. This reference is also habitually used in the context of altruism, but there are those of us still who find it condescending.
To be a keeper someone (or something) has to be kept! This would hardly create a situation of mutual respect under humane circumstances. The person in the condition to be kept is, in all probability, humiliated enough by the situation. Therefore the more respectful approach and loving sentiment would seem, not “my brother’s keeper, but my brother’s brother!” It all depends on “from whose perspective?” For from perspective come attitudes and from attitudes usually come dissention and division.
Need we keep reminding you, in mankind’s scientific and technological maturity, “This world is indeed too small for anything but brotherhood; and too dangerous for anything but peace!”
What a fiasco we find ourselves in, from personal to international status, when we continue to pride ourselves in becoming (or being) “Our brother’s “keeper,” instead of “our brother’s brother! -– (whether on a personal, national or international scale.)
“O Friends” (and rulers of the world), we are admonished in the Baha’i Scriptures for this new era! “Quench ye the lamp of continuous error, and kindle within your hearts the
everlasting torch of Divine Guidance!…” as provided through each Manifestation of the One God (by Whatever Name!) applicable to the exigencies of each respective era! (Investigate!) -1-800-22-UNITE.