Monday, January 24, 2022

A Carefully Constructed Village

“The Neighborhood Gang,” circa 1992 Photo by Laurie Kasperbauer

“The Neighborhood Gang,” circa 1992 Photo by Laurie Kasperbauer

Laurie Kasperbauer

“You are a piece of the puzzle of someone else’s life. You may never know where you fit, but others will fill holes in their lives with pieces of you.” 

– Bonnie Arbon

In 1996 a book was published by none-other-than, Democratic presidential hopeful, Hilary Clinton. The title of the book is “It takes a Village and Other Lessons Children Teach Us.”

The phrase, “it takes a village,” is thought to be an African proverb, built on the premise that raising a child is a collective effort that extends beyond the mother and father alone. In her book, Ms. Clinton suggests that successfully raising a child is influenced by the collaboration of not only immediate family members, but also, neighbors, friends, clergy, teachers, business leaders, and doctors, to name a few. I suspect this is an overwhelming concept to many parents who spend the bulk of their child-rearing energy manipulating who will influence their offspring and running interference to keep them on the chosen path. I was certainly one of those parents. Nonetheless, I think there is truth to the idea that we are all influenced by our “village.” In fact, I think health of body, mind and spirit is dependent upon who we include in our circle.

The deeper I dip into the wellspring of yoga, the better I understand the concept of connectedness, and the more I realize that I have just skimmed the surface of a powerful flow of energy. Energy that travels from universe to earth, from earth to life, and from life to universe, in a spontaneous web of inclusion and balance. Our thoughts, our words, our actions, our decisions, and our relationships are the mesh of conduit for this flow of energy. When we connect with others, that energy is either deflected or accepted.

The attached photo is, without question, an iconic image to me. I took the picture in the backyard of our home in Iowa. It was a warm, summer day and the neighborhood kids had gathered to slide down the slope in our yard on a long piece of plastic, hydrated by a garden hose. The picture represents a neighborhood. Eight children. Eight distinct personalities. Eight growing bodies. Eight developing young minds and eight different life stories. Each child left an impression on the other seven. The parents and families of each individual in that image, held a degree of influence over the others. There was a connection, there was energy, there was acceptance and there was deflection.

I think it does take a village to raise a child. I believe we carry that village with us through life and it is a malleable creation of our own life experiences. We make connections with others, we exchange energy with our environment, we give, we take, we accept and we eliminate. Through our thoughts, our actions, our words, our decisions, and our relationships, we carefully construct the village we live in. In the end, we dwell within the walls we build; constructed of the materials we gathered along the way.

Laurie Kasperbauer is an active Florida realtor specializing in properties in Naples and Marco Island. Laurie also enjoys the spiritual and physical benefits of yoga practice and instructs both group and private classes.

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