Introduction to the GRE Argument Task (For Test Takers)
I was somewhat surprised to learn that quite a number of people believe this old adage still holds true. It was also interesting to learn that a great number of the response to the question expressed their skepticism of allowing anyone family or not outside of themselves to have any influence in the raising of their child. What are you views on this very old, but somewhat new and still very much alive subject? We know people today who have benefited from communal rearing. Our current president, President Barack Obama was raised by his mom, grand-parents and no doubt by a lot of other on-hand individuals in the various communities he grew up in. In the YouTube video "Raising An Olympian", we see the story of the moms, the sisters, and the community of athletes, coaches behind the success of the Olympic athlete, Gabrielle Douglas.
I don't believe there ever was a 'golden age' of the family, but I do believe that bringing up children was easier when families lived near each other and they could rely on the wisdom and support of the extended family. In our society, over the last fifty years, family life has changed immensely. Geographical distance, family breakdown, multiple caring responsibilities, and the long-hours culture have all contributed to there being less connectedness between extended families.
Hillary Clinton's book, It Takes a Village and Other Lessons Children Teach Us , set off a firestorm of discussion over the source of the phrase "it takes a village to raise a child". The general wisdom is that the expression originates in Africa, and it seems likely that somewhere within this vast continent such an expression exists, but it has proven impossible to tie this particular variation down to a specific place. The conversation ranges widely with some saying they have heard it in use among Native Americans but most pointing to various parts of Africa, or to it being, not so much a proverb in Africa as a fact of life. The very lengthy conversation is perhaps best summed up in this post: While it is interesting to seek provenance in regard to the proverb, "It takes a village to raise a child," I think it would be misleading to ascribe its origin to a single source.