How we cultivate relationships has wide reaching effects. My daughter is as (or more) likely to my friend when she needs help as she is me. A few of my own children’s friends have turned to me over the years when they were heartbroken or burdened with a weighty decision rather than their parents. My husband, Pete, has had a couple of “lunch and lectures” with kids who had their own parents but had spent enough time in our home that we had permission to have a crucial conversation over an issue that needed addressing.
I always felt when my children were younger that if something happened to Pete and I, my children would continue to be well loved. I hope my friends thought the same in reverse.
This does not happen in a vacuum. We do not accidentally create a village to support the nurturing and growing of the next generation. This is hard work and requires intentionality.
I think this commitment to working hard at maintaining relationships deserves our attention. It makes our lives richer; it improves the community; it makes it easier for the outcasts and the suffering to find a safe harbor. The weight of suffering can be born easier by the community than just one person.
I challenge us all to keep tending to the village. Our lives depend on it.