Wednesday, May 23, 2012

It Takes A Village

Do you recall the saying 'It Takes A Village'? I may be remembering it wrong or this could just be my interpretation, but I seem to recall it being about community. Last night I attended my daughter's high school music program's end of the year banquet. We had a great time. We had a good dinner, the serving staff was attentive, the jazz band played some great music, and we were able to spend an evening with friends we've had for a while, friends we hadn't seen for a while, and make some new friends as well. It was definitely a win-win kind of night.

There always seems to be more bad than good relayed to us on the news these days ... bullying, thefts, shootings, threats - you name it. But sitting through an evening like last night restores my hope in future generations. My situation was the music banquet; but it could just as easily have been a football or soccer banquet, a senior honors night, or an end of the year celebration for the drama club, dance team, or Science Olympiad. Every group has its booster club supporters, its grandparents, aunts, uncles, neighbors and friends that come out and cheer at their events, games, and concerts. Letting today's youth know that we care and that we support their skills and their efforts can and will make all the difference in laying the foundation for their future.

Last night at the banquet I sat and listened to underclassmen pay tribute to the outgoing seniors. I heard about their talents, their drive, their ambitions, and their quirky and embarrassing moments. I also heard words of inspiration - from students who looked up to their mentors and from adults who support the program.

One woman (who offers a memorial scholarship each year) talked about the importance of living for today and about the responsibility the youth have to embrace their talents and gifts, but also remembering to pay it forward. As a parent I support my daughter, but it's my daughter's responsibility to support the generation that follows her. No one can do it alone. It takes family, teachers, neighbors, friends, AND a community. It takes a village.

Whether you currently have young children, your children are already grown, you have nieces or nephews or grandchildren, or there's a teenager down the street from you that actually remembers to wave hello when you drive by - show your support. That child might not have any support in their life. YOU could be that person. Just something to keep in mind.

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