We’ve been told from a young age to trust the close family and friends we are surrounded by. Over the years it is these networks and connections that form the bonds that we rely heavily on when life’s challenges knock us to our knees. After all, it surely takes a village to raise a child. We put an amazing amount of trust and responsibility in these people-surely they would want only the best for us, right?
Too often we see our villages failing. Miserably. The young girl who feels disconnected from her parents seeks attention, in whatever way she can, from her peers. By the time she’s 18 she’s a single parent and is utilizing desperate resources to make ends meet. We also see the young boy whose only male influences are his older cousins, brothers and uncles in the streets. Despite a promising academic future that is apparent to all who encounter him, the men in his community see nothing wrong with guiding him into the tumultuous underworld of drugs, jail and death.
Where are our youth supposed to turn when their sole backbones and support systems have ZERO interest in showing them a positive path that will lead to long-term success?
I’ve been trying to figure this out for a few days now. It got to me so bad that just yesterday I found myself in tears over this. How do you tell the young girl that she doesn’t need the attention from the men who are using her when it’s the only seemingly genuine interest she’s ever received? And how can you tell that young man that there’s a brighter, better way than the streets when the only college-educated men he sees are broke and lame?
Up to this point, I’ve only been able to come up with mentoring. As of now, I’m not sure how much of an impact it can have if it’s not long-term. How long must one serve as a mentor to affect change? And if these children aren’t able to be removed from their detrimental villages, is it all done in vain?
I’m lost on this one. I’m definitely trying to find the answer though. Time is running out for those that are closest to me though and I needed to find a solution yesterday. I’m praying on it, praying SO hard, but a resolution has been elusive…God’s timing is surely not my own.