Posted by ESC on May 08, 2003
In Reply to: "Obodo n'ezu ezu azu nwa" posted by Word Camel 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.
"It takes a village to raise a child" reminds me of Mayberry. All the adults in town took an interest in Opie. Barney was especially quick to give Andy parenting advice.
Things have changed and not for the better. I was waiting at school for one of my children to return from a trip. Two boys, around age 15, got into a fight. None of the other parents (several of them men) got out of their vehicles. I did. I told them in my commanding mother voice to stop. They did. Where were the other parents? Where were the teachers?