This week my cousin wrote a post on Facebook wanting to share stories of growing up in my grandparents home for the younger generations. A way for them to know about our collective family memory. It made me think of the importance of villages raising the children in their midsts.
Our village is the cultural context that shapes and molds the viewpoints of our children. My village was heavily influenced by New Orleans culture, my grandparents were from there. That culture was trasmitted through food, the relationships my grandparents had with their siblings, customs and traditions.
In our family, acceptence and gatherings are super important. We accept people into our family as full blood members, based solely on love. We grew up with our Aunties and Uncles friends as family, siblings of cousins as our cousins too. The words step and half are Never used to describe a family member. We have generations of cousins that grew up together like brothers and sisters. This is what it means to be an Armstrong.
I challenge you to look at your village, what values are important to it and how are those values being expressed to the children around. Are those values inclusive, loving, self esteem building? The diversity we want to see in the world must be seen in our village. How else will the children learn to love and accept?