Contributor: E. Taylor
It truly does take a village to flourish and thrive through today’s societal changes, the current pandemic, and a climate of social injustice. It takes a village is an old African Proverb that has been shared for many years that means that people work together as a community to raise and nurture children and others in their community. This philosophy is highlighted by the power of people uniting for a common cause – to support one another.
The village is a safe and healthy place for children to live, grow, learn, and experience the world as they mature into self-sufficient individuals. The village represents everything that a child and family need. We are who we have become because of the village that raised us. Our own foundation was laid in “our” village. Then those other important bricks and blocks were laid on it while building additional layers through our interactions with the other members of the village – our parents, neighbors, cousins, extended family members, teachers, community members, and others.
All of us have a different experience because of the village we have/had surrounding us. We are products of our environments; we are who we hang out with, live with, socialize with, spend time with. Whatever we feel and think has been shaped by the things we learned and experienced through those around us and their impact upon us.
A person who has a positive village experience growing up lays a foundation for an adult life that can differ in how they experience and respond to their community and adversity. A person who has an upbringing that has less support of their village members or is more traumatic and problematic has a different foundation and may experience things differently. Therefore, they may have different responses for similar situations and incidents.
The driving force of the village is the love for its children and families. The villagers need a genuine love for one another and others, and the village flourishes because of this love. Love in action is a powerful force. Luther Vandross sang of this belief in the song, “Power of Love,” reminding us all that we’ve got love and all of the power and that it’s the greatest power of them all. Love is indeed a power all by itself – fantastic and indescribable, awe-inspiring, and can be difficult and tough simultaneously.
God is love and the embodiment of love in action. His love is inspiring and flourishes when we invest it in others as God invests it in us. Let us continue to love each other, support each other, and be a part of someone’s village, being their community of love. Love is shown through our actions and is almost invisible when it’s inactive. Being part of a village is a critical role for all of us, and the power of love helps make it possible for us to build others up and encourage them.