Thursday, August 02, 2007

It Takes A Village To Raise A Child - Like Hell

“It takes a Village to Raise a Child”. I’m sure you’ve heard that saying. It’s pretty popular among some of our more enlightened, egalitarian citizens. The village, they say, should take responsibility for the children born in it and provide support to parents and families when it comes to raising and protecting their children.

It may not surprise you to learn that this popular saying originated in Africa. After all, when men go around fathering multiple children with multiple women and take responsibility for few if any of them, you better hope that the village is there to raise the kids. Otherwise, bad things might happen.

Hmmm, wait a minute, bad things are constantly happening in Africa despite the awesome wisdom of their popular sayings and the proliferation of villages. Hey, do you suppose it’s really not true? Do you suppose that maybe villages aren’t really that great at raising children and maybe what’s really needed is a family – a solid, dutiful, loving mom and dad? Is it possible that societies that are not centered on the family will fail, regardless of how many villages there are?

Of course, here in Canada we have to slightly realign our expectations when it comes to villages if we want that cute little saying to apply. After all, there are no African villages here. So, when people say that “it takes a village to raise a child”, we know that they are not really talking about villages - they are actually speaking metaphorically. When they say ‘village’, they really mean society – a society controlled by politicians and bureaucrats; i.e., the state. And when they say ‘raise’ they really mean impart values and exercise parental power, control and influence.

Tell me, to what extent do you trust the village/state to exercise parental power and control over your children? To what degree do you trust society and popular culture to influence your children’s mind and shape the type of person they will become? Are you comfortable having them look to society for their values and the state for their welfare? Or would you rather have them look to you? Most parents would, I think. So, why is it that the influence of the state, society and popular culture on our childrens’ minds and bodies is growing while the role parents play is diminishing? Something is terribly rotten in Denmark. In Canada too, apparently.

Anyway, not to worry. It’s all happened before. The Germans did it back in the 30s. And look what happened with them. Ever hear of the Hitler youth Movement? The Germans put their children in the hands of the state, and everything turned out alright. Sort of. Oh well, at least we kicked their ass.

So you'd think they'd have learned their lesson. But no. Just this week I learned of booklets issued by the German government that advised fathers of how important it was for their infant daughters to start developing a sense of sexual awareness. It encourages them to sexually massage their daughters. Here's a link: This is very, very sick stuff. And just one small example of what we will have in store for us as whack-job, socialistic governments and bureaucrats grow increasingly arrogant and powerful; and families, growing increasingly fractured and confused, look to them for guidance and support.

So, to repeat the question: How much do you trust society and the state with your children? Many people will say that they don’t trust them at all. And yet, despite this, they continue to grow in size, influence and power. And we are all paying the price, especially our children.

Of course, it wasn’t always like this. Once upon a time, here in glorious nannyriffic Canada, people actually looked to their family and each other first and not to society or the state.

The family unit was inviolate. Parents (mothers, mostly) were the main moral and ethical guides for their children. And they worked at it full time. Village schools imparted knowledge. They didn’t spend half the day focusing on touchy-feely social sciences and liberal/feminist dogma like they do today. Fatherless children were rare in the village and no one had the gall to feel entitled to live off the earnings of their village neighbours. Parents could let their kids run around the village without fear. Sexually explicit imagery did not dominate television, magazine covers and billboards in the village, setting horrible examples for our children. Our overactive sons were not drugged into docility by prescription happy village doctors and career focused village mothers. Childhood suicide and obesity were virtually nonexistent in the village. The family was safe and strong. And so was the village.

Compare that with today. The family has become weak and unstable. And with it, our neighborhoods, our village, our society and our very future.

You see, families define the nature of the village. Not vice versa. The village can only be as strong and cohesive as the families that live within it. Not the other way around.

When families are strong and stable and share a common set of values, as we once did here in Canada, the village is strong and stable and children are safe within it. When families are dysfunctional, weak, confused, divided and unstable, as many are today, the village becomes dysfunctional, divided, unstable and untrustworthy. And we can no longer trust it to impart the correct values to our children or keep our children safe.

And therein lays the paradox that no whacky socialist in the world has ever been able to solve: Strong families form strong villages even though they don’t need them to pick up the child rearing slack like weak families do. Conversely and inevitably, weak families form weak villages, even though they need the help of a strong village much more than strong families do.

Too bad it doesn’t work the other way ‘round eh? Too bad dysfunctional, unstable families couldn’t magically form strong, trustworthy villages. Then they could just turn their children over to the village and turn their minds to things that are more fulfilling to them than raising their own children, like watching Oprah, having an affair or hanging out on the stoop smoking pot.

People, we have been deceived. Sold a damaged bill of goods. That stupid saying about a village raising our children is from Africa for crying out loud, a place where many kids are fatherless and far too many are starving or dying of AIDS. Their families are dysfunctional; so their villages are dysfunctional.

And we are well on our way to the same fate.


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