The short answer to that is that the child belongs to the village. If its parents are citizens of that village, their offspring becomes the responsibility of the village. And where the village willfully fails to do its duty, leaving the job to the immediate biological parents only, the whole village suffers from this dereliction when the child wanders away and stays astray. It was to avoid the possibility of collective shame that in the old days children were considered a collective responsibility. While the parents were the child’s immediate contact to the ways of its people, everyone chipped in, giving what we will today describe as sound bites of wisdom and direction, morsels the child internalised and grew up practic


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