It Takes A Village

January 17, 2011
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“It Takes a Village”

Growing up in a small Native American village was an amicable experience, but also a nefarious one. The Squamous Tribe was a loving and enjoyable place, but cruel and harsh. I learned to love and loath the tribe life. The many vexatious chores of gathering crops and fire wood and washing our animal skins, were horrible experiences. Relaxing and playing lacrosse and swimming in the lake were parts of the tribe life I enjoyed. These things were taught to me by Ma and Pa, but there was more to be learned.
To survive, it took more than the upbringing of Ma and Pa. Their teachings alone would have been ineffectual in shaping me into a man. I had to solicit the help of others. Receive teachings on the ways of the land. Our local medicine man, Whining Squirrel, was one of these teachers. He taught me to scrutinize the food I collected. If I was not careful, there were different maladies that I was at risk of contracting. The fiercest warrior in our tribe, Man Who Flies With Bird, taught me how to live off the land. Hunt. Fish. Grow corn. He taught me to stay astute and be ready for enemies, such as the Coronal Tribe, for they could attack at any moment.
Without Whining Squirrel and Man Who Flies With Bird, I would have never become who I am today. I would not be Tribe Leader Obama. Ma and Pa taught me many ways of the tribe, but they could not do it all. Because of these experiences I have become an advocate for the expression “It takes a village to raise a child.” It is necessary for others around you, besides your Ma and Pa, to influence you and help you grow up.

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