Sunday, August 10, 2008

52 Blessings--It Takes a Village . . .

Abe, seated in yellow, sharing a PowerPoint presentation with friends and family

It bugs me when a good quote gets used in a context I don’t agree with. “It takes a village to raise a child” is one of those quotes. A few years ago it was used in the political arena pushing for more government programs. I’m taking the wordy way to preface my post so that it’s clear that that context is not how I interpret the quote. To me “it takes a village to raise a child” means that, though family is primary, it still takes a lot of caring and concerned people in a child’s life to help them thrive. It takes teachers who inspire, neighbors who provide places to discover, friends who keep a watchful eye, as well as librarians who recommend good books, policemen who enforce obedience to laws and mayors who lead effectively.

One of my blessings is good mentors for our children: men and women who take an active interest in our kids and are willing to spend their time (and sometimes resources) for our children’s benefit. For instance, one couple has routinely called before they choose a restaurant to eat at to see if our kids are waiting tables that night. If our kids are then the couple eats there so they can visit with them (as well as give them a generous tip). Another man patiently tells glory-day athletic reruns of our kids’ athletic accomplishments . . . reminding them someone remembers. Still others have provided employment for them and toted them to camp, super activities and high adventure outings.

Last week Abe went to visit one of his mentors, the man who served as his Young Men’s President. Abe feels a great kinship to this family because they have shown him such support through the years. Last Monday, Abe invited the family over for dinner and cooked three Filipino dishes and then shared a PowerPoint presentation he’d made of people he loved in the Philippines. I couldn’t help but be grateful for the influence and love this family has shown Abe. They are part of the village.


Mardis Family said...

Hey! I know, and am inspired by, that family, too! Small world.....great village!!!!

cathy said...

That is really neat! I hope and pray that my children find "their village" in these next critical TEENAGE years. I also pray that I too can be a part of my ward/neighborhood "village" and be there for others. I realize it is a give and take effort, and will hopefully be ready for it when the time comes.
Tell Abe I think he is very thoughtful and that the family probably really was touched by his kindness.