Friday, July 7, 2017

Insight: Be the influence and the village by Lorraine Glowczak

One of my favorite mindless and trivial activities is looking up special and unique holidays that occur every month. I like to discover what crazy things people like to “commemorate.”  I especially enjoy the odd and humorous celebrations.

For example, the month of July includes such celebrations as: Act like a Caveman Day, Sidewalk Egg Frying Day and Cherry Pit Spitting Day. 

The one celebration that made my heart smile, however, was the Dad and Daughter Take a Walk Day that was observed on Thursday, July 6. 

I know that not all dads have a daughter and not all daughters have a dad, but the idea that any adult can take a moment to be in a child’s life for a brief amount of time can create so many positive potentials.

I’m certain we have all heard the over expressed quote, “it takes a village to raise a child.” And whether or not that statement makes your eyes roll, it definitely carries immense truth. A child has a better chance of thriving in a network of supportive adults and as a result, tends to make better informed decisions that affect his or her life.

I’m not a parent, so I can’t speak from experience, but as an observer, it seems that we all have a lot on our plates. To support a parent in their efforts of molding a future contributing member of society is something that should be second nature to all of us.  

Our families no longer resemble the 1950s and it’s “Leave it to Beaver” lifestyle. For whatever reason, and this is not necessarily a bad thing, life is much more complicated now and raising children in today’s society with all its pressures begs “the village” to help out in anyway it can.  

There are a number of ways in which we all can get involved, whether we are parents or not. One example of a village style partnership is Be the Influence Coalition, a Windham and Raymond community collaboration whose mission is to reduce substance use and abuse in our youth. (See article, “Drug-free Community Coalition to host Lunch and Learn for Parents”.

If joining a coalition or a large group is not your thing, no need to be concerned. Take an hour out of your day, pick up your best friend’s child and go for a walk. Or fry an egg on a sidewalk. Or have a cherry pit spitting contest.

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