It Takes a Village...

So I picked up Hillary Clinton's book, "It Takes a Village" from my local library. Unfortuately I couldn't get through it. I read about half of it actually finding myself agreeing with the ideas and beliefs of our former First Lady and my current State Senator. Why couldn't I get through it? My problem is that I don't believe her.

Perhaps my personal politics have clouded my objectivity and that adds to a predisposed bias to the woman who claimed to be named after the man who first climbed Mt. Everest - Sir Edmund Hillary? But I don't think that is the case. There is a list of eyebrow raising events that would cause me to not trust Senator Clinton. Bill doesn't help matters either. However I will try to keep an open mind ;)

The point of the book is a good one - it takes a village. A child needs a safe environment to grow up in, people looking after his or her best interests, people on their side, encouraging and clearing a path to maturity and self discovery. The problem is the village has not necessarily owned up to this responisbility and has even shirked it.

I think about how a teacher friend of mine was told by her assistant principal that "it is not our job to teach responsibility" when she wanted to give her student a zero for not turning in an assignment. The policy at this public school is that there is no deadlines. You can turn your homework in anytime. The sad part was that the student whose homework was late was actually the child of the principal!

Or I think about my father-in-law who teaches Spanish to public high school students in New Jersey. During one of his final exams the proctor caught a student smearing chapstick on the computer graded "scan-tron" answer sheet. This supposedly makes the machine unable to read the answers and marks the answers as correct. When the incident was brought before the assistant prinicipal (the one in charge of discipline) his answer to my father-in-law was to grade the test by hand because it wasn't their job to determine the student's intent. Can you believe that?

The village's hands are tied my friends. And in some cases it is glorifies the very behavior that we are trying to avoid. The latest example of this comes from the campus of Virginia Tech, my alma mater. I believe that the evil and violence that has destroyed the lives of so many will end up saving hundreds more. Our eyes have been opened, our souls torn open, and our hearts bruised. But there has been so much love, hope and strength flowing in around and out of the campus. I truly believe the goal of this evil will prove counter productive.

Hopefully there will be changes to the Virginia Tech village. An interesting article by James Lewis at the American Thinker illustrates the need. Now this is just one side of the story. A side I'm sure we won't hear. I would enjoy reading a response.

And hopefully Hollywood will wake up too. On the very night of the murders, during a commerical on American Idol, we saw a movie trailer for Disturbia - subtitled "every killer lives next to someone. The disturbing part of the trailer was hearing the words, "You made me do this". The same words I was hearing all day on the news about the killer from the campus of Virginia Tech.

The village needs leadership. It needs people of faith to step in (to be allowed, encouraged, welcomed) to step in and aid in the maturity and self discovery of our young people. I know I am not doing enough. I work too much. Not because I want to accumulate toys but because that's what my job asks of me, it's what I need to do to pay the cost of living in our Long Island, NY. The price is too high on too many fronts. How will the village respond? I am hopeful.

Psalm 46:10

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