There is no village to raise a child

Calligraphy by Gia-Fu Feng, from the cover of ...
Calligraphy by Gia-Fu Feng, from the cover of the book Tao-Te-Ching (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thirty spokes share the wheel’s hub;

It is the center hole that makes it useful.

Shape clay into a vessel;

It is the space within that makes it useful.

Cut doors and windows for a room:

It is the holes which make it useful.

Therefore profit comes from what is there;

Usefulness from what is not there.

Lao Tsu, “Tao Te Ching

It takes a village to raise a child. So many children do not have this village by virtue of the fact that families no longer live in clusters like we did when I grew up on Route 2. I had 2 sets of Grandparents within walking distance; many cousins and aunts and uncles.

My grandchildren do/did not have this; therefore, the community and schools would be the wheel and the center hole would be their immediate family … mother and father only.

What was the space within like for them? What did it mean for them not to have any other family close? They grew up without these elements, as many do, therefore this is the norm for them.

Their view of the world is much broader than mine; the holes cut for them included the world and all the places they traveled throughout their lives; places I will never go; things I will never see. However, they do not know what it means to pick cotton or to hoe corn or to milk a cow, watch a garden grow.

It is time to realize that these days are gone for most. In this realization comes the niggling thought that maybe, just maybe, this could be one of the elements missing; one of the “mental health” issues not studied. Is this part of the problem for the violence we see in today’s world?

There is no village to raise the child.

13 thoughts on “There is no village to raise a child

  1. Oh my, Linda, this is so close to the same thing I’m working on for my blog. I’ve been writing a piece, about how the world is so different today. The exact phrase I use is “a type of innocence is lost.” I’ve been working on the piece for some time now, trying to find the right words. It’s going to be probably the longest blog post I put up besides my short story reads. I’ve also been debating on whether or not to even share it, but if I do, it’ll probably go up one week from today. Thank you for putting this one up my Miss Kindred Spirit.


    1. I will forward to your piece. I wish I would work on my post before posting, however, I just sit down and write and publish. There is no polish or searching for words for me. Whatever comes through, comes through. I often wish that I would just try to be better at this writing gig!


  2. I think of my own kids, the early baby boomers, who grew up without grandparents, aunts, and uncles and, after the divorce, without a father. All of our heros had been assassinated — Kennedy, Martin Luther King, et al — and a war in an unnecessary war in Vietnam continued to rage. Girls were burning their bras, the sexual and female revolutions were in full swing, and yet … yet we didn’t have the violence we see today. Conclusion, the NRA has been buying our politicians and fighting against any kind of restrictions on assault weapons … our video games, movies, TV shows, all promote violence; therefore, little value is placed on life. Finally, we closed most of our mental health hospitals and let the crazies out on the street. Sadly, we must expect more violence … we are not safe anywhere.


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