I have heard this African proverb quoted many times. It is so popular now that we can just say, “it takes a village” and others will understand that we are talking about community, cooperation and group responsibility.
This past week we experienced this. We had friends staying with us at our home in Donegal and as Nick says, “We showing them the sights in Derry.” For those of you who are not aware, Derry City is a walled city. Finished 400 years ago, the walls are among the finest in Europe. They are wide and high. The walk on the top of the walls is a steep climb with many stairs. It is about a mile around the city and can be difficult for anyone who is not fit.
Arden and I were going to sit in a coffee shop while we waited for the others to walk the walls. Nick asked, “I go too?” In silence we all contemplated what this might entail, then Christina said, “Why not try it?” And I thought, “Sure, why not try it?”
With four people pushing/pulling his chair up the hill to the base of each stairway, Nick grabbed a hold of the railings and slowly climbed counting each step. When needed, we all rested in the shade of the walls. It took us a little longer than most to tour the walls, but we did it. Afterwards, Arden and I commented to each other that neither of us thought we would see Nick on the walls again.
These walls have stood surrounding Derry City for 400 years. Over the years, they have represented many different things, depending on the perspective of the person viewing them.
For now, to us, they represent a group of friends coming together in a common goal to serve someone else. Maybe this is the basis of all peace. It takes a village to create peace.
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