KingMidget's Ramblings

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What Do You Believe?

I believe it takes a village to raise a child.  Okay, maybe not a village, but it takes more than just the parents.  It takes neighbors and teachers and extended family and … well, all of us.  And this is one of the things we have lost somewhere along the way.  Far too many of us feel no responsibility for the children among us.  No responsibility to set an example for them — unless the example is that you should get to do whatever you want regardless of who is within earshot or who is there to witness your immaturity or stupidity.  Where did we lose our sense of community and responsibility for something greater than our own selfish pleasures?

What do you believe?


15 responses to “What Do You Believe?

  1. S.K. Nicholls June 20, 2016 at 8:16 pm

    Michel Bishop (author) loaned me books and encouraged me to read, when I took them back, he encouraged me to talk about them. The owner of the Builder’s Supply caught me shoplifting and didn’t tell my family or report me to the police, but made me work off the cost of the item I took. My grandparents never gave me anything I didn’t earn through extra chores. The teachers who made me stay after school were never questioned by my parents. We were a different breed of youth in a different tribe than what exists today.

    • kingmidget June 20, 2016 at 8:18 pm

      Yes, when something goes wrong, it seems the first response is to always blame somebody else rather than taking responsibility. That’s just a part of the whole thing.

  2. Amy Reese June 20, 2016 at 11:25 pm

    Excellent questions, Mark. Community is hard to find. Maybe it’s people’s values and habits that have changed. Or, is it also the way we live, in fear instead of trust. When I was I kid, we all hung out together. That doesn’t seem to happen anymore or least not enough.

    • kingmidget June 21, 2016 at 6:18 am

      There is a lot more fear. I agree. When I was a kid, I felt safe running around our neighborhood. Now, I don’t feel safe going for a run in the evening after work.

      And it’s also a change in habits. We all get home at the end of the day, drive into our garages, close the doors and camp out inside instead of outside. We don’t seem to be as social as we used to be.

  3. Bumba June 20, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    Ya know what bugs me? Those signs that concerned citizens put up that say: “Drive as if your own kids lived here”.
    I have kids. And I taught them how to cross the street. But I drive as if all kids are my kids. They’re all my kids.

  4. cinthiaritchie June 21, 2016 at 2:27 am

    I raised my son as a single mother and we were fortunate enough to live in a four-plex apartment building with great neighbors. We were all like family. We traded babysitting, cooked meals for one another, took each other to doctor appointments, borrowed each other’s cars, shopped in bulk and shared our purchases, etc. I couldn’t have survived without them.
    Fast forward: My son has been out on his own for years and I now live in a house with my partner, and we barely know our neighbors. I miss the community aspects of apartment life, I miss seeing neighbors in the hallways and sharing pieces of our lives.
    I think community is strongest in walkable neighborhoods. Sadly, we are becoming car orientated society, and as a result we barely see or know our neighbors.

    • S.K. Nicholls June 21, 2016 at 5:44 am

      I think you’ve hit on something here…a car oriented society. All us cousins waited on the peddler at grandmother’s farm to bring us what the neighbors were growing. Now we just hop in the car and go get it (grown in Peru). As teenagers, one of us might have had a car…the rest flocked around him. As young adult apartment dwellers we helped each other out. I live in a suburb now and I know the neighbors beside and across from me, and not well. That’s all. I force myself out to public venues for writers groups and events, but I really don’t know these people. The closest people I have in my life are my husbands AA friends and my online friends.

      • kingmidget June 21, 2016 at 6:24 am

        I agree. One of the drawbacks to suburban living are the garages that take up so much of the front of a house. We pull in, close the garage door and go inside, coming back out in the morning to go to work. Houses aren’t built for community anymore.

      • Audrey Driscoll June 21, 2016 at 2:18 pm

        It’s hard to create a community of friends once you hit middle age and are stuck in the suburban rut (even if you’re comfortable there). When couples or families are all new in a neighbourhood, it seems to happen spontaneously. Thank God for online friends!

      • kingmidget June 21, 2016 at 8:03 pm

        I hope to retire in about three years and when I do, I’m also hoping to escape the suburban rut and find a more community-like setting to live in. I hope. But I get what you’re saying as well. We’ll see what happens.

    • kingmidget June 21, 2016 at 6:23 am

      When we bought our first home, it was a brand new neighborhood, in a court filled with other young families just starting out. We spent so much time outside and at each other’s homes. Our little kids playing together, the adults having fun. It was a great five or six years. And then a few moved out and then we moved too. To a larger house about a mile down the road. We’ve been here for almost 14 years and have never had dinner with one of our neighbors. Never had a barbecue with the neighbors. Nothing. We rarely do anything out front except yard work.

  5. Kathy June 24, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    I’m coming in late to this discussion, but here’s a difference. When we were kids riding our bikes down our street, maybe racing each other, we’d look back to see how far ahead we were, and whoops!…run into a parked car in front of a house. And got hurt! When we’d go home to get comfort from mom or dad, they marched us down to the house, made us apologize to the owner for being stupid and running into their car, and then mom/dad would immediately offer to pay if there was any damage. Long time ago, everyone had the good ol’ fashioned Buicks and whatnot that were 400 feet long. Cars never got hurt, YOU did. But still… that was the scene played out in my neighborhood. Now? The parents would sue the owner of the car for having it parked in front of their own home MAKING their kid run into it. It’s absolutely the “not my fault” era, It’s always somebody else’s fault, and everybody sues. That’s the difference.

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