Village – Parents – Child

Not too many years ago it did not take a village to raise a child.

Dear Editor,

Not too many years ago it did not take a village to raise a child. It took a father and mother who were willing to invest the time and effort necessary to raise up a human being to the point where that person was a valued asset to the “village”.

There is a pervasive trend in society today that encourages parents to morally relieve themselves of their responsibility to raise their own children knowing that the village will provide social programs to act as ersatz parents who will quietly assume the parental role in default.

I level no criticism at all on these programs or those who administer them. My complaint is directed at those who take an immoral advantage of this social provision and abuse the taxpayers generous support (and indeed I wish it could be even more generous).

A line from a well-known song says “the first love is the greatest” and when the first love is alcohol, drugs, gambling addictions or any other perversion, the individuals who are supposed to benefit from that love, the children, are immediately and often tragically affected and ultimately lose the most.

When natural affection is lacking, chaos ensues and entropy prevails. By-products of this corrosive attitude include an environment of mistrust and suspicion, general incompetence, failure to meet even the lowest moral standard and purveyance of a subjective certainty that those who do adhere to a moral code are to be mocked, ridiculed and judged with censorious pessimism.

Before it is contended that I am misunderstanding and misapplying Hillary Clinton’s book titled “it takes a village to raise a child” (the title itself is alleged to be a plagiarism of an old African tribal proverb) I must assert that I am addressing the much more immediate and local issue of personal, familial responsibility.

What truly loving father among us would intentionally put his child at risk or fail to protect his child from harm or threat? If you are a family man you are by historic definition and with no criminal connotation, a “dangerous” man and if you don’t view yourself to be such, I say you are abrogating your parental responsibility to let the world know that those under your care are secure, protected and above all valued.

I can certainly understand how parents feel psychologically overwhelmed and functionally debilitated by the general malaise of ingratitude and the media driven attack on their dignified purpose. Fathers are portrayed to be comedic buffoons. Mothers to be self-referential shrews and children to be agents of chaos licensed by a parental surrender to the new religion of “me”.

When anyone who aspires to higher values find themselves in opposition to those who have no moral certitude, we can view it as an opportunity to engage in collegial and hopefully remedial discussion. I, in the most literal sense, thank God that the battle has not yet been lost. Some wounds to the family structure have been sustained but none so far are fatal.

Don Ahlquist

Gull Lake