Posted by Word Camel on May 08, 2003
In Reply to: The meaning of a phrase posted by TheFallen on May 08, 2003
: : : What is the meaning of the phrase "It takes a village to raise an idiot?"
: : I think it's just a goof on Hillary Clinton's "It Takes a Village [To Raise a Child]". That is, it has no meaning; it's just a joke.
: I think Hilary stole an old African saying. Yes, it's poking fun at this, and is helped by the fact that the concept of "village idiot" is well-known.
Igbo and Yoruba but supposedly exists in other forms throughout Africa.
And now a brief editorial comment...
It seems to me that applying this in our society right now can be a bit tricky. In my experience, adults no longer trust one another (for all sorts of reasons) so most people seem to take this proverb (as Hillary Clinton dose) as a licence to comment on and to butt into the relationship between parents and their children - especially the army of therapists, parenting experts and health care providers. And that seems to go against the spirit of the proverb which is that adults should support one another in bringing on the next generation.